NEW YORK – Suicides and overdose of drugs last year pushed American deaths and continued to fall as long as Americans needed to live.
Overall, there were more than 2.8 million US deaths in 2017, or almost 70,000 more than, centers for disease control and prevention said Thursday. That was the most death in a year since the government began counting for more than a century.
The increase is partially reflected by the growing population and the aging of the population. But this is a death in younger age groups – especially middle-aged people – who had the greatest impact on expected life expectancies, experts said.
"These serious statistics are a call to awakening to lose too many Americans, too soon and too often, to conditions that can be prevented," said Dr Robert Redfield, director of the CDC.
was at least 50 years, according to US government records. There were more than 47,000 suicides, of just under 45,000 years ago.
A general drop
For decades, the expected life span of the United States was on the rise, which increased several months almost every year. Now the trend is in the opposite direction: falling in 2015, remained at 2016 level, and last year again fell, CDC said.
The nation is in the longest period of overall decline in life expectancy since the late 1910s, when World War One and the worst flu pandemic in modern history killed nearly a million Americans. The expected life expectancy in 1918 was 39.
In addition, "we have never seen anything like this," said Robert Anderson, who oversees statistics on the death of the CDC.
In 10 leading causes of death, only cancer mortality rate fell in 2017. Meanwhile, there has been a rise in seven others – suicide, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, flu / pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases and unintended injuries.
The basic factor is that the mortality rate forhe stopped falling. In recent years, the death of heart disease was enough to compensate for increases in some other types of death, but it is no longer, Anderson said.
(CDCs sometimes change. This week, CDC officials said they revised the estimated life expectancy for 2016 after some additional data came in.)
What is driving?
Officials of the CDC have not speculated about the lag in life expectancy, but Dr William Dietz, a specialist in disease prevention at George Washington University, sees the feeling of hopelessness.
Financial battles, aEveryone throws a stick on many Americans, he suggests. "I really believe that people are more and more hopeless and that leads to drug use, potentially leading to suicide," he said.
Deaths from too large a dose of drugs also continued to grow, surpassing 70,000 last year, amidst the worst epidemic of overdose in American history. The mortality rate has increased 10 percent compared to the previous year, less than 21 percent of the jump that is visible between 2016 and 2017.
That is not the real reason for the celebration, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University.
"Maybe it's starting to slow down, but it has not turned yet," Rowe said. "I think it will take several years."
Excessive doses of accidental drugs make up more than a third of the deaths of unintentional injuries, and deliberately overdosing drugs make up about tenths of suicide, said Dr Holly Hedegaard, a CDC injury investigator.
The CDC data is basically based on a review of the death certificate in 2017. The expected life expectancy is based on current death trends and other factors.
The agency also said:
- It is expected that the baby born last year in the United States will live on average 78 years and 7 months. The American is expected to be born in 2015 or 2016 for about a month, and one born in 2014 about two months longer than that.
- The suicide rate was 14 deaths per 100,000 people. This is the highest since at least 1975.
- The percentage of suicide due to excessive doses of medicine falls downwards.
- Deaths from flu and pneumonia increased by about 6 percent. The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst in more than a decade, and some of the deaths since the beginning of that season have emerged in the new days of death.
- West Virginia was again the country with the highest mortality rate overdosing drug. CDC did not release state suicide rates.
- Mortality rates of heroin, methadone and opioid receptor remedies were flat. However, deadly cases of strong fentanyl analgesia and its close opioid relatives continued to grow in 2017.
In a report released on Thursday, the CDC did not discuss the death of weapons in 2017. But earlier CDC reports have reported increased suicide rates by gun and suffocation or hanging.