NEW YORK – Suicides and drug overdose push up US mortality last year, and stimulate a persistent decline in how long Americans are expected to live.
Overall, there were more than 2.8 million deaths in the United States in 2017, or almost 70,000 more than, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday. Here are the biggest deaths in a single year since the government started counting over a century ago.
The increase reflects the partially growing and aging population of the nation. But there are fatalities in younger age groups – especially middle-aged people – who have had the greatest impact on life expectancy calculations, experts said.
"These sober statistics are a seamless call that we lose too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are being stopped," said Dr Robert Redfield , director of the CDC, in a statement.
YIt has been in at least 50 years, according to US government records. There were more than 47,000 suicides, up from just under 45,000 a year ago.
For decades, US life expectancy was on the rise, rising almost a few months every year. Now he tended to the other way: He fell in 2015, he stayed level in 2016, and he refused last year again, the CDC said.
The nation is the longest of a life-longest life expectancy since the late 1910s, when the First World War combined with the worst flu pandemic in modern history to kill almost 1 million Americans. Life expectancy in 1918 was 39.
Apart from that, "we've never seen anything like this," said Robert Anderson, who oversees the CDC death statistics.
In the case of the 10 leading cause of the nation's death, only the cancer mortality rate ended in 2017. Meanwhile, another seven increased – suicide, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, flu / pneumonia, chronic respiratory diseases and unintentional injuries.
A basic factor is that the death rate is for– gave the best to fall. In recent years, a reduction in mortality for heart disease was enough to offset progress in some other types of death, but it's no longer, Anderson said.
(CDC numbers are sometimes changing. This week, CDC officials said they had revised their life expectancy estimate for 2016 after some additional data came in.)
What's it driving?
CDC officers did not guess what is behind a declining life expectancy, but Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention specialist at George Washington University, sees a sense of despair.
Fighting battles, aThey all look over many Americans, he suggested. "I really believe people are increasingly desperate, and that's leading to drug use, it's leading to suicide," he said.
Overdose deaths of drugs also continued to climb, exceeding 70,000 last year, in the middle of the excessive epidemic of drug overdose in the history of the United States. The death rate rose by 10 per cent of the previous year, less than the 21 percent trend seen between 2016 and 2017.
That's not the reason to celebrate, says Dr John Rowe, a health and aging policy professor at Columbia University.
"Maybe it's about to slow down, but it has not turned around again," said Rowe. "I think it will take several years."
Accidental drug overdose accounts for more than one third of unintended injuries deaths, and deliberate drug overdose accounts for about a tenth of suicides, says Dr Holly Hedegaard, a CDC injury researcher.
The CDC figures are based mainly on a review of the death certificates of 2017. The life expectancy figure is based on death trends and other factors.
The agency also said:
- A baby born last year in the United States is expected to live around 78 years and 7 months, on average. America born in 2015 or 2016 is expected to live for a month longer, and one is born in 2014 about two months longer than that.
- The suicide rate was 14 deaths per 100,000 people. That's the highest since at least 1975.
- The percentage of suicides due to drug overdose has been swept down.
- About 6 percent of deaths rose from flu and pneumonia. The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst in more than a decade, and some deaths from the beginning of that term appeared in the new death dates.
- West Virginia was once again in the state with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths. The CDC did not release state rates for suicides.
- Death rates for heroin, methadone and prescription opioids were always flat. But there were still deaths of powerful pesticides and opioid cousins near to join in 2017.
The CDC did not discuss deaths for 2017 in the reports released on Thursday. But earlier CDC reports reported to increase suicide rates by dogs and by assault or hang.