U.S. Life Expectancy Reaches Record High of 77.9 Years
Life expectancy for U.S. residents in 2005 reached a record high of 77.9 years, an increase from the previous record high of 77.8 years in 2004, according to a preliminary report released on Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics at CDC, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
For the report, NCHS considered about 99% of the deaths in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2005 (Stobbe, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/13). According to the report, life expectancy for blacks increased to 73.2 years in 2005 from 73.1 years in 2004, and life expectancy for whites remained about the same at 78.3 years. The report found that mortality rates among all residents for heart disease, cancer and stroke decreased in 2005. In addition, the report found that deaths from HIV decreased to 12,456 in 2005 from 13,063 in 2004.
However, mortality rates for respiratory disease, accidents, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease increased in 2005, according to the report. The report also found that age-related deaths decreased for whites, blacks and Asians in 2005 but increased for Hispanics (Harper, Washington Times, 9/13). The overall number of deaths increased by 50,000 in 2005, the report found (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/13).
Hsiang-Ching Kung, an NCHS statistician and a co-author of the report, attributed the decreases in mortality rates for heart disease, cancer and stroke to "better prevention efforts and medical advances" in treatments. He added, "If death rates from certain leading causes of death continue to decline, we should continue to see improvements in life expectancy" (Washington Times, 9/13). The report is available online.
ABC's "World News" on Wednesday reported on the report. The segment includes comments from Bruce Johnson, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Steven Nissen, chair of the cardiology department at the Cleveland Clinic; and Robert Anderson of NCHS (Stark, "World News," ABC, 9/12). Video of the segment is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.