The pending US life expectancy fell in 2017 for the third consecutive year, deaths from suicide and overdose & # 39; drug continued to claim more American lives.
The average American can & # 39; expect to stay 78.6 years in 2017, & # 39; down from 78.7 in 2016, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That reduction can & # 39; to be modest, but it marks the third consecutive year that the life expectancy at birth has fallen – a remarkable phenomenon, since the fall & # 39; several previous years was registered by NCHS in the early sixties.
The modern trend is driven by constant increases in deaths from suicide and drugs, according to new data. Upticks in & # 39; death from suicide and accidental injuries (including overdoses of & # 39; drug), as well as conditions that include foot & # 39; Alzheimer's, stroke, flu and pneumonia, exceeded the reductions in & # 39; heart disease and deadly cancer, the two leading causes of death of the country. All together, the death rate & # 39; the United States increased by & # 39; 0.4% from 2016 to 2017, from 728.8 deaths per 100,000 people to 731.9.
The drug overdoses alone took 70 237 lives in 2017, the highest number ever recorded for a single year. While that number corresponds to an increase & # 39; 9.6% in the death rate, is much smaller than the gap & # 39; 21% recorded between 2015 and 2016 – perhaps a sign that the nation's epidemic of substance abuse can & # 39; start changing. Preliminary data issued last month also said that deaths b & # 39; & # 39 outcome; overdose & # 39; drugs decreased over the past year.
Still, drugs – that opioids like heroin – are still considerable cause & # 39; deaths. And synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are a growing problem: The rate of & # 39; & # 39 b deaths; overdose involving these drugs increased by & # 39; 45% from 2016 to 2017.
Deaths from suicide, meanwhile, increased by 3.7% between 2016 and 2017, according to the new report. While still relatively uncommon, suicides accounted for 14 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States last year. In 1999, b & # 39; contrast, that number was & # 39; about 10.5 per 100,000 people.
Increases were particularly pronounced among women, although many people die from suicide are men. Rate & # 39; female suicide increased by 53% between 1999 and 2017, compared with & # 39; 26% for men. The CDC data showed particularly troubling past increases among teen girls, for which the & # 39; suicide rate increased by & # 39; about 70% between 2010 and 2016.
The new data are very worrying, but the continued decline in & # 39; heart disease and cancer deaths provide a silver lining. While the reduction in heart disease deaths was quite small the last year, with the cancer death rate decreased by & # 39; 1.1% – a trend that & # 39; likely to reflect screening and better detection, reduction & # 39; & # 39 rates; smoking, extended vaccination against cancer-related & # 39; HPV and other public health advances.