We are living shorter lives, on average

Suicide and drug overdoses get the blame

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
November 29, 2018 - 6:57 am

On average, Americans are living shorter lives in a trend not seen in a century.

"In 2017, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years for the total U.S. population—a decrease from 78.7 years in 2016," according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The government says suicides and drug overdoses are to blame for the shorter average life spans.

The nation is now in the longest period of a generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910s.  

The suicide death rate last year was the highest it's been in at least 50 years.

Stats show death rates increased significantly between 2016 and 2017 for people age 25 - 34, climbing 2.9%.

That pulled down the overall life expectancy.

You are still far more likely to die from disease.

"In 2017, the 10 leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide) remained the same as in 2016."

Those ten leading causes accounted for 74.0% of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

National Center for Health Statistics
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