HealthDay News — From 2016 to 2017, there was a decrease in life expectancy in the United States, with recent increases noted in drug overdose deaths and suicide mortality, according to three reports published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Sherry L. Murphy, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to examine mortality in the United States in 2017. The researchers found that in 2017, life expectancy declined to 78.6 years for the U.S. population. There was a 0.4 percent increase in the age-adjusted death rate, from 728.8 to 731.9 deaths per 100,000 standard population from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, the 10 leading causes of death were the same as in 2016.
Holly Hedegaard, M.D., also from the NCHS, and colleagues examined drug overdose deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2017. The researchers found 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States. Compared with 2016, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose death was 9.6 percent higher in 2017 (21.7 versus 19.8 per 100,000). Hedegaard and colleagues also examined suicide mortality for 1999 to 2017 using data from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found a 33 percent increase in the age-adjusted suicide rate (from 10.5 to 14.0 per 100,000).
“Although the Healthy People 2020 target is to reduce suicide rates to 10.2 per 100,000 by 2020, suicide rates have steadily increased in recent years,” Hedegaard and colleagues write.