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News & Press: Behavioral Health

CDC Reports Show Life Expectancy Falling

Monday, December 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rebecca Roberts
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Government reports released in November show life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the third year in a row. The average life expectancy at birth by race and sex is now 78.6, down from 78.9 in 2014. The reasons for the decline include significant increases in overdose deaths and suicides.

The Center for Disease Control's Medical Director Robert Redfield released a media statement following the reports:

The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide. Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable. CDC is committed to putting science into action to protect U.S. health, but we must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier lives.

The rate of drug overdose deaths rose 9.6 percent between 2016 and 2017 with a total of 70,237 overdose deaths in 2017. Suicides rose 3.7 percent and accounted for 47,000 deaths.

Read the full reports:

Health, United States, 2017 with a Special Feature on Mortality

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017