The expected American life expectancy has fallen by 2017 for the third consecutive year, as deaths due to suicide and drug overdose continue to seek more American lives.
The average American could expect to live up to 78.6 years in 2017, with a fall of 78.7 in 2016, according to data published on Thursday by the National Centers for Health Statistics (NCHS) for control and disease prevention. This decline can be modest, but marks the third consecutive life expectancy at birth – which is a significant phenomenon, given that the previous high-birth rate dropped by NCHS at the beginning of the sixties of the last century.
Modern trend seems to be driven by constant increases in suicide and drug death, according to new data. Uptics in death for suicide and accidental injury (including drug overdose) as well as conditions including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and lung inflammation have surpassed fatal heart and cancer failure, the two major causes of death in the country. All together, the US mortality rate has increased by 0.4% from 2016 to 2017, from 728.8 deaths per 100,000 to 731.9.
Overdoses of drugs have occupied 70,237 lives in 2017, the largest one being recorded in one year. Although this figure corresponds to a 9.6% mortality rate, it is much less than 21% of the jump that was recorded between 2015 and 2016 – perhaps a sign that the national epidemic abusive substances begins to stabilize. Previous data released last month also said that deaths of excessive drug doses fell over the past year.
However, drugs – namely, opioids such as heroin – are still a major cause of deaths. And synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are growing the problem: the overdose death rate involving these drugs has increased by 45% over the period 2016 to 2017.
Meanwhile suicide deaths increased by 3.7% between 2016 and 2017, according to a new report. Although still relatively unusual, suicides have made 14 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States last year. In 1999, by contrast, that number was about 10.5 per 100,000 people.
Women are particularly prominent in the rise, though most people died suicide by a man. The female suicide rate rose by 53% between 1999 and 2017, compared with 26% of men. CDC data showed a particularly worrying increase among girls, for whom the suicide rate rose by about 70% between 2010 and 2016.
New data are serious, but continuous drop in heart disease and cancer death provide a silver base. Although the reduction in deaths from heart disease last year was relatively lower, the cancer mortality rate fell by 2.1% – a trend likely to reflect improved detection and detection, decline in smoking rate, expanded HPV-associated cancer vaccine and other health improvements of public health.