US life expectancy drops again as overdoses climb

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But the most concerning increases were among drugs and suicide deaths, both of which rose significantly compared to 2016.

The US witnessed the most deaths in a single year, since official records began, in 2017, with suicide and drug overdose deaths soaring among an aging population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But now, co-occurrent crises have rendered life expectancy either flat or declining over the past three years. And it is thanks in large part to increases in drug overdose death and suicide, according to supplementary reports simultaneously released by the CDC.

"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 R. Redfield said in a statement Thursday.

Life expectancy also decreased from 2016 to 2017, going from 78.7 years to 78.6 years. While the rate of deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin remained the same. And Kentucky was fifth in the nation with a rate of at 37.2 deaths per 100,000 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest data on mortality rates this morning, and the news is not good.

"There has been an assumption at times that overdoses fit into one of two categories: they're intentional or they're unintentional", she says.

For a long time, USA life expectancy rates were increasing, rising a few months almost every year. People can unknowing consume fentanyl when this drug contaminates other illegal substances; and small amounts of fentanyl can be fatal, Mooney said. This follows a doubling of the death rate due to fentanyl and similar drugs from 2015 to 2016. Unintentional injuries, including drug overdoses, are the third leading cause of death, followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide.

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Babies now can expect to live 78.6 years on average, based on 2017 data, according to NCHS researchers.

Indeed, the new data shows that illicit fentanyl-related deaths surged again, from 19,413 in 2016 to 28,466 in 2017.

The trend is disturbing: the suicide rate grew 1 percent per year between 1999 and 2006, then accelerated to 2 percent annual growth between 2006 and 2017.

Suicide rates for females aged 10-74 were higher in 2017 than in 1999.

Suicides and drug overdoses were two reasons for an increase in the number of deaths in the United States a year ago. Among women, the rate increased from about 4 overdose deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to about 14 per 100,000 in 2017. The 2017 report is the third in a row to show a decline in life expectancy.

Indeed, a second report, also from the CDC, found that deaths from drug overdoses continue to soar.

In 2017, the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20 per 100,000) outpaced that in the most urban counties (about 11 per 100,000).

"Maybe it's starting to slow down, but it hasn't turned around yet", Rowe said.

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