U.S. life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2016, the first time the country has experience a multiyear drop in the statistic since 1962-1963, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Americans are expected to live an average 78.6 years, a statistical drop of 0.1 year, CNN reported, quoting figures from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Women can now expect to live 81.1 years, compared to 76.1 for men, a full five-year difference, CNN noted.
The report said that the 10 leading causes of death remained the same in 2016 from 2015 – heath disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide remained the same as in 2015.
The report stated, though, that there was slight change in the order.
"Unintentional injuries, the fourth leading cause in 2015, became the third leading cause in 2016, while chronic lower respiratory diseases, the third leading cause in 2015, became the fourth leading cause in 2016," the report said. "The 10 leading causes accounted for 74.1 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2016.
"I still don't think you can call it a trend, because you really need more than two data points to call something a trend," Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center of Health Statistics, told CNN. "But it's certainly concerning to see this two years in a row."
Anderson said that opioid-related death continue to play a role on the numbers and could have a real impact in the 2017 figures. Of the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, or synthetic opioids, with over 20,000 overdose deaths, said the National Institute on Drug Abuse, quoting stats from the CDC.
"We have data for almost half of 2017 at this point," Anderson told CNN. "It's still quite provisional, but it suggests that we're in for another increase (in drug-related deaths)," Anderson told the network. "If we're not careful, we could end up with declining life expectancy for three years in a row, which we haven't seen since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.