CBS News posted an article today stating that the average life expectancy in the United States has increased for the first time in four years.
The article reports:
Life expectancy in the United States is up for the first time in four years.
The increase is small — just a month — but marks at least a temporary halt to a. The rise is due to lower for cancer and drug overdoses.
“Let’s just hope it continues,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article notes:
Cancer is the nation’s No. 2 killer, blamed for about 600,000 deaths a year, so even slight changes in the cancer death rate can have a big impact. The rate fell more than 2%, matching the drop in 2017.
“I’m a little surprised that rapid pace is continuing,” said Rebecca Siegel, a researcher for the American Cancer Society.
Most of the improvement is in lung cancer because of fewer smokers and better treatments, she said.
Also striking was the drop in drug overdose deaths that had skyrocketed through 2017. The death rate fell 4% in 2018 and the number of deaths dropped to about 67,400.
Deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers went down. However, deaths from other drugs — fentanyl, cocaine and meth — continued to go up. And preliminary data for the first half of 2019 suggest the overall decline in overdose deaths is already slowing down.
It’s still a crisis, said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University researcher. “But the fact that we have seen the first year where there’s not an additional increase is encouraging.”
The article concludes:
Nationally, for all causes of death, more than 2.8 million Americans died in 2018. That’s about 26,000 more than the year before, the CDC report found. The number went up even as the death rate went down, because the population is growing and a large group consists of retirement age baby boomers.
Hopefully we can find a way to stem the plague of illegal drugs in America.