The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed Americans born in 2016 can expect to live an average of 78.6 years. This is down from 78.7 the year before, marking the second year in a row that the life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped. In that same report, the CDC also revealed that death rates and drug overdose deaths have both risen.
Life Expectancy in the U.S.
Although the life expectancy has dropped in the U.S., it’s only regarding the life expectancy of men. The life expectancy for women has not dropped. The life expectancy for men at birth is currently 76.1 years, while for women it’s 81.1 years. It’s also worth noting that the life expectancy drop wasn’t equal for all racial and ethnic groups either. The average death rate of black men increased by one percent in 2016, while the average death rate for white women dropped by one percent.
The Leading Causes of Death in the U.S.
The report published by the CDC revealed that the number of deaths per 100,000 has risen among young adults from 2015 to 2016. Around 63,600 of those deaths were related to drug overdoses in 2016, roughly two-thirds of which were caused by opioids. Although these overdose-related deaths were not directly linked to the drop in life expectancy, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say they are somewhat related. Death rates associated with drug overdoses have increased by 18 percent each year from 2014 to 2016.
According to the report, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S. Other major causes of death in the U.S. included cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, diabetes, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, Alzheimer’s disease, suicide and kidney disease.
The third leading cause of death was found to be unintentional injuries, replacing chronic lower respiratory diseases in that spot from last year. (Drug overdoses are classified as unintentional injuries.)