US Life Expectancy Down For First Time In Decades, Says NCHS Report


The overall death rate within the United States has increased for the first time in decades. An analysis of the demographics showed that the life expectancy has dropped for the first time since 1993, especially among people who are younger than 65.

While the data collected from 2015 could only be circumstantial and not suggest a decline in the overall trend, it is still worth analyzing the causes that led to it.

Decline In U.S. Overall Life Expectancy

Back in 1993, the reason why the life expectancy dropped was composed of a number of issues, from AIDS to flu, homicides and accidental deaths. It could be similar for 2015, as well.

Over the year of 2015, the overall death went from 724.6 to 733.1 per 100,000 people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For a person born in 2015, this would mean that the average life expectancy dropped from 78.9 to 78.8 years.

"This is a big deal. There's not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy. The fact that it's leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding," noted Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina.

Increase In Leading Causes Of Death In America

However, circumstantial reasons may be the cause behind this issue. In 2015, mortality due to heart diseases and strokes increased after years of declining. In addition, deaths caused by kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease also increased, all of which could explain this rate.

Other related causes that may have contributed to this decline in the overall life expectancy were unintentional deaths and suicides, which also scored a growth in the number of people affected. Eight of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States have scored higher than the previous years.

There are massive health issues in the United States that raise problems to officials of the state. The increased obesity rates could be correlated to heart disease, strokes and diabetes, as well as they could have influenced deaths caused by Alzheimer's.

 "I think we should be very concerned. This is singular. This doesn't happen," noted Princeton economist Anne Case, who is a supporter of investigating the increase in deaths caused by heart disease, the first leading cause of death in the United States.

The number of prescriptions of opioid-based painkillers, along with heroin abuse, may have also influenced these statistics.

"This is unusual, and we don't know what happened. So many leading causes of death increased," explained Jiaquan Xu, epidemiologist and lead author of the study.

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