The US mortality crisis: CDC reports extraordinary drop in life expectancy

The US mortality crisis: CDC reports extraordinary drop in life expectancy

The report stated that there are 2.8 million deaths across the United States in 2017 or 69,000 cases more than the previous year. That age range dovetails with the data on drug use, which showed people age 25 to 54 dying at higher rates than their older counterparts.

Another major contributor to declining life expectancy is the rising rate of suicides, which took more than 47,000 lives a year ago. Life expectancy for females has consistently been higher than males and the gap continues to widen.

Nationwide, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years in 2017, a decrease of 0.01 years compared to 2016 levels. But it's deaths in younger age groups - particularly middle-aged people - that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.

McHugh, too, sees a link between these two increasingly prevalent causes of death.

Life expectancy in the United States declined from 2016 to 2017, yet the 10 leading causes of death remained the same, according to three government reports released Thursday. The rate more than tripled for both men and women, with a slightly higher increase for women, although the overall death rate was approximately twice as high for men as for women.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drug overdose deaths rose above 70,000 in 2017, a rise of nearly 10 percent to a new record high, according to new government statistics out Thursday.

"West Virginia (with 57.8 overdose deaths per 100,000 people), OH (46.3 overdose deaths per 100,000), Pennsylvania (44.3), and the District of Columbia (44 ) had the highest observed age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2017", the CDC report reads. In 1999, the death rate was just 6.1 per 100,000. The rates are also an increase from 2016.

One major factor is drug overdoses. Significantly, it is arguably America's most successful populations-men generally, and white women and men both-who are experiencing the decline, yet another indication of serious issues within America's majority population. The rise coincides with the opioid crisis ravaging through parts of the United States, concentrated in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In years past, declines in heart disease deaths were enough to offset increases in some other kinds of death, but no longer, Anderson said.

Low-wage, tenuous employment, where it is available, has replaced the jobs that were destroyed in the process. Accidental drug overdoses accounted for one third of unintentional injury deaths while intentional overdoses made up roughly a tenth of suicides, according to the CDC.

Suicide and drug overdose rates continued to rise in 2017, helping drive the number of US deaths to the highest total in more than 100 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a series of reports on mortality released Thursday. Workers are driven to the very brink of despair under the ruling class assault against the living standards won by the working class in the 20th century. The 2017 report is the third in a row to show a decline in life expectancy. A direct assault must be launched on the wealth of the corporate and financial elite.

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