Another year, another decrease in life expectancy in the US

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One result: Life expectancy in 2017 fell to an average of 78.6 years for the total USA population, down from 78.7 years in 2016.

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield wrote in a statement that the trend is largely driven by drug overdose deaths and a 3.7 percent increase in the suicide rate. In 2017, the United States had 2.8 million deaths, a full 70,000 more than the previous year.

An underlying factor is that the death rate for heart disease - the nation's No. 1 killer - has stopped falling.

McHugh, too, sees a link between these two increasingly prevalent causes of death. The rate more than tripled for both men and women, with a slightly higher increase for women, although the overall death rate was approximately twice as high for men as for women. For men, the number dropped by a 10th of a year to 76.1.

Indeed, the new data shows that illicit fentanyl-related deaths surged again, from 19,413 in 2016 to 28,466 in 2017.

Age-specific death rates between 2016 and 2017 increased for age groups 25-34, 35-44, and 85 and over.

While the average suicide rate in the United States has been steadily increasing for the past 20 years, the CDC's data also shows huge geographic disparities in suicide rates, with rural parts of the U.S. showing double the rate of urban areas. The map identifies areas where the rate of deaths remains high even when controlling for the age of the population.

Officials attributed the decrease to the highest annual increase in suicides in almost a decade, a rise in opiod overdose deaths and diseases like diabetes, pneumonia and influenza.

There were a total of 2.8 million USA deaths in 2017, nearly 70,000 more than the previous year, the CDC reported.

Adding to the fentanyl deaths are those from heroin and prescription opioids, both drugs which are often adulterated with synthetic opioids.

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"No area of the United States is exempt from this epidemic - we all know a friend, family member, or loved one devastated by opioids, ' said CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat".

The CDC figures are based mainly on a review of 2017 death certificates. Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world, at nearly 84.

That dip of 0.1 years, every year for the last three years, is not a huge trend when taken on its own.

The most striking trend in suicide deaths is their geographic distribution. When will we start acting like it?

CDC officials did not try to explain the cause of decreasing life expectancy, but a disease prevention expert thinks the cause is hopelessness.

Most notable is the widening gap between urban and rural Americans. Drug Overdose And Suicide-Related Deaths The unfortunate increase in deaths from a drug overdose a year ago hit a record high of 70,237, an up from 63,632 in 2016.

That's not quite cause for celebration, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University.

"Maybe it's starting to slow down, but it hasn't turned around yet", Rowe said.

Levine said Vermont has "hovered around the national average" for overdose deaths for several years.

People born in the US last year can expect to live until they are 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 years from the previous 12 months. Now, life expectancy is decreasing.

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