Another year, another decrease in life expectancy in the US

New Hamphire State Drug Laboratory

In the previous year there were 45,000 suicides.

The number of children with no health insurance coverage in the US rose past year, reversing more than a decade of steady improvement, Georgetown's Center for Children and Families said in a report released Thursday. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the spike somewhat reflects the aging population, it's the spike in younger age groups that raises the most concern.

"Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation's overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", CDC director Robert Redfield said.

By the revised measure, life expectancy in 2015 and 2016 was flat, at 78.7, a decline from 78.9 in 2014.

The data continued the longest sustained decline in expected life span at birth in a century, an appalling performance not seen in the United States since 1915 to 1918. Last year's 13 percent increase in opioid deaths was due nearly entirely to a 47 percent increase in deaths involving fentanyl and its analogs, since deaths involving heroin and pain pills stayed about the same, while deaths involving methadone fell.

Rates have been consistently and significantly higher for males than females throughout the years, increasing from about 8 men dying of an overdose per 100,000 in 1999 to about 29 men per 100,000 in 2017. When those death rates were broken down by ethnicity and sex, white people-both men and women-had a statistically significant increase in death rate, although their absolute rates were still lower than those of black men and women.

"I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide", Dietz told the Associated Press. While that number corresponds to a 9.6% increase in the death rate, it's much smaller than the 21% jump recorded between 2015 and 2016 - perhaps a sign that the nation's substance abuse epidemic may be starting to stabilize.

The suicide death rate last year was the highest it's been in at least 50 years, according to USA government records.

The authors concluded that while further research is needed to assess the dangers of the show, "the findings suggest a particular vulnerability to the show's themes among youths at risk of suicide", and that steps are needed to be taken to ameliorate those problems.

CDC & FDA
CDC & FDA

Age was an influencing factor in these deaths, the researchers found. Adults between 25 and 54 experienced the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2017.

"The idea that a developed wealthy nation like ours has declining life expectancy just doesn't seem right", said Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, who helped prepare the reports.

Meanwhile, the number of overdose deaths hit a new high past year, reaching 70,237.

-Deaths from flu and pneumonia rose by about 6 percent.

In 1900, the average person in the United States could expect to live just 47.3 years. Though constant, the rate has increased over time from about 10 suicides per 100,000 in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2017. The CDC's numbers are subject to change as more data becomes available, however.

America will have to curtail its escalating suicide rate if it ever hopes of becoming truly great again.

Most gun deaths are suicides.

Rates in rural US counties are almost twice as high as in urban counties, the government statisticians say. Earlier CDC reports have noted increasing rates of suicide by gun.

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