Life expectancy in the US continues to fall, CDC reports
LIFE expectancy in the United States declined again in 2017, the government said Thursday in a bleak series of reports that showed a nation still in the grip of escalating drug and suicide crises.
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. That four-year period included World War I and a flu pandemic that killed 675,000 people in the United States and perhaps 50 million worldwide.
Public health and demographic experts reacted with alarm to the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual statistics, which are considered a reliable barometer of a society’s health. In most developed nations, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades.
Overall, Americans could expect to live 78.6 years at birth in 2017, down a tenth of a year from the 2016 estimate, according to the CDC’S National Center for Health Statistics. Men could anticipate a life span of 76.1 years, down a tenth of a year from 2016. Life expectancy for women in 2017 was 81.1 years, unchanged from the previous year. Drug overdoses set another annual record in 2017, cresting at 70,237 - up from 63,632 the year before, the government said in a companion report.