Health Care

US Life Expectancy Decreases Second Straight Year As Opioid Overdoses Rise

"Even though 1/10th of a year of decline in life expectancy doesn't seem like a lot, it actually represents a lot of lives cut short", said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch of the National Center for Health Statistics. Although there were increases in the death rate among all groups, they were most pronounced for older black men (age 50 and older) and black women (age 45 and older).

Average life expectancy in the USA in 2016 was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2015, when it dropped 0.1 year from 2014's 78.8 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Statistics released this year showed that Adams County experienced a almost 360 percent increase in emergency department visit rates related to opioid and heroin overdose, and a 300 percent rise in the overdose mortality rates due to opioids and heroin between 2010-15. About two-thirds of overdose deaths - more than 42,200 - were linked to opioids. In 2015, 33,000 died from opioid overdoses. "But It's people of color who are increasingly dying due to fentanyl". Those increases have primarily been seen in the 15-44 age ranges. OH and New Hampshire were next, both at about 39 per 100,000. "But I think we should be really alarmed".

The public health emergency fund now holds only around $57,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and Trump has not allocated the level of funding experts say is necessary to truly address the problem. "This is a moral crisis. we know how to answer this problem, but we can't get around our own prejudices". It breaks down to nearly 21 years more for women and 18 years more for men. Japan's average life expectancy, among the highest in the world, was 84.06 years in 2016, up 0.26 year from 2015.

For U.S. males, life expectancy fell from 76.3 to 76.1 years, while females' life expectancy remained at 81.1 years.

Even Costa Rica, a country with far lower per capita income, and which spends far less on healthcare, significantly outperforms the USA on life expectancy.

"Demographically, we should be in the middle of a mini baby boomlet, just given the age of the population and the size of the millennials, but we're not". The leading causes of death were the same; congenital malformation, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, maternal complications and unintentional injuries lead the list.

US life expectancy does not stack up well compared with other rich countries.

About 41,000 Americans die of breast cancer each year, CNN reported.

States and municipalities over the a year ago have either leveled or mulled lawsuits against some of the biggest drug manufacturers in the country. And the only time in modern USA history that life expectancy has dropped three consecutive years was during the 1916 to 1918 influenza pandemic, he said. "It's the overdose story, to a large extent", he told the Washington Post.

One key point: Unintentional injuries climbed to the third leading cause of death in 2016, swapping spots with chronic lower respiratory diseases.

But opioids aren't the only reason life expectancy is dropping; suicides are up too.

"It's also a crisis in which people are killing themselves in much larger numbers - whites especially", Anne Case, an economist at Princeton University, said.

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