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American Life Expectancy Is Dropping Due to Drug Overdoses and Suicide

The Centers for Disease Control released new statistics about life expectancy in the United States, and unfortunately suicides and drug overdoses are taking its toll. 

The CDC announced for the second consecutive year, the life expectancy of Americans has dropped. For decades, life expectancy in America increased until 2015 when it declined. The decline in expectancy from 2015 to now is the longest period of decline since the 1910's, which included World War One and the worst flu pandemic in modern history.

Deaths in 2017 increased by 70,000 over 2016, which is the highest ever recorded by the CDC (although there are more living people in the United States than ever before too). The biggest changes in deaths were suicides and drug overdoses. The CDC says the suicide rate in the United States has reached its highest point in at least the past 50 years. And the rate of drug overdose deaths increased by 10 percent last year, which is pretty significant since overdose deaths in 2016 had already risen over 20 percent more than in 2015.

Of the top 10 leading causes of death, only cancer saw a decrease in the number of deaths last year. Suicide, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, flu/pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases and unintentional injuries all saw increased deaths in 2017, and heart disease, which is America's number one leading cause of death and had been decreasing for a number of years, stopped its decline.

(h/t CBS News)


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