Escalating Drug And Suicide Crises Contribute To Longest Sustained Decline In U.S. Expected Life Span In A Century
Public health experts are alarmed by the new statistics released by the CDC. In contrast, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades in most other developed nations. “After three years of stagnation and decline, what do we do now?” asked S.V. Subramanian, a professor of population health and geography at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Do we say this is the new normal?
The Associated Press:
Suicide, At 50-Year Peak, Pushes Down US Life Expectancy
Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live. Overall, there were more than 2.8 million U.S. deaths in 2017, or nearly 70,000 more than the previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. It was the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago. (11/29)
Drug Overdoses And Suicides Fuel Drop In U.S. Life Expectancy
Although the U.S. has struggled with a drug crisis for years, overdoses have only recently become a major driver of the overall mortality rate because decreases in other causes of death, like heart disease, have leveled off after long-term declines. "In those previous years, the increase in overdose deaths offset the declines in heart disease, but now those have flattened out so that's no longer the case," said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. (Ehley, 11/29)