Life Expectancy For Americans Drops For First Time In 22 Years

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The results of a recently-published CDC mortality report should be of great concern to many Americans. While great numbers are taking preventative measures towards their long-term health care, with cancer-related deaths decreasing, according to the study from the CDC’s National Department of Health Statistics there are many types of fatality that have witnessed a sharp increase.

The 2015 national report on life expectancy brings with it an alarming number of cautionary statistics. One part of the CDC’s analysis that packs the biggest punch is the drop in life expectancy for the average American. It’s fallen for the first time in 22 years. It was 78.8 in 2015, a small – yet important – drop from 2014, when it was 78.9 years. Men can now expect to live until 76.3 years, down from 76.5 in 2014. Life expectancy for women dropped from 81.3 years in 2014 to 81.2 years in 2015.

One aspect that remains the same are the top ten causes of death. In 2015 it read the same as 2014: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

However in 8 of those 10 leading causes of death, the percentage of fatalities increased considerably: 0.9% for heart disease, 2.7% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, 6.7% for unintentional injuries, 3.0% for stroke, 15.7% for Alzheimer’s disease, 1.9% for diabetes, 1.5% for kidney disease, and 2.3% for suicide. The only cause to witness a significant drop was cancer; the percentage of Americans who died of it in 2015 decreased by 1.7%. To put it into perspective, the rate of cancer deaths has dropped to 158.5 deaths per 100,000 people.

This year a report from The Lancet showed that the US trails behind many other developed nations when it comes to life expectancy. Another piece of analysis from the CDC in early 2016 also showed that the US experienced a spike in the death rate for the first time in a decade. This aligns with the results from this newest research, that concludes with a sobering statistic: 2015 saw 86,212 more deaths of U.S. residents than in 2014.

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