In 2017, over 2.8 million Americans died, an increase by approximately 70,000 from the previous year and the most deaths in a single year since the United States government began keeping records. The death rate for heart disease, the nation's number one killer, has also stopped falling. However, since 2008, suicide has ranked 10 and has been growing at an alarming rate. Naturally, this increase affects the overall death rate, which is annually adjusted to account for the changing age of the general population. But increases in cocaine overdoses (especially among African Americans) and methamphetamine overdoses are also driving up death rates. The number of people who died past year as a result of those causes also increased from 2016.
The federal report found that, nationally, there were 70,237 overdose deaths in 2017.
Life expectancy in the U.S.is going down and it has researchers shaking their heads. That rate rose from 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 9 deaths per 100,000 people.
Life expectancy in the United States has dropped as drug overdose deaths and suicides continued to rise, a government report said Thursday.
President Donald Trump has made fighting the country's opioid epidemic one of his tenants.
The CDC figures are based mainly on a review of 2017 death certificates. In 1918, average life expectancy was 39 years.
Life expectancy fell for the first time in decades in 2015. That's a decrease of a tenth of a year from the 2016 estimate. The U.S.is seeing its longest overall downward trend since World War I.
"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors".
CDC officials did not try to explain the cause of decreasing life expectancy, but a disease prevention expert thinks the cause is hopelessness.
Financial struggles, a widening income gap and divisive politics are all casting a pall over many Americans, he suggested.
The rates are significantly higher for men, increasing from eight men dying of overdose per 100,000 in 1999 to about 29 per 100,000 a year ago.
That's not quite cause for celebration, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University.
"We are starting to see more people dying as a result of using cocaine that has fentanyl cut into it", Levine said. That may not seem like much, but usually, life expectancy goes up a little each year. For females, life expectancy remained the same at 81.1.
The rate of overdose deaths from heroin and some prescription opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, remained about the same from 2016 to 2017, the report said.
Only cancer death rates decreased by 2.1%, while the rates for most other causes increased.
The Washington Post notes that other factors contributed to an increased death rate past year, including a spike in influenza deaths as well as fatalities from chronic low respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's disease and strokes.
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