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U.S. life expectancy gets a boost

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/31/20, 11:17 am

After a couple years of decline, life expectancy in the United States went up by one month in 2018. The modest increase represents a welcome halt in a downward trend. The life expectancy for men increased to 76 years and 2 months, and 81 years and 1 month for women, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What drove the change? Experts credit lower death rates from cancer and drug overdoses for the shift. Many blamed the downward trend between 2014 and 2017 on overdoses and suicides. The number of suicides continued to rise in 2018, as did deaths from flu and pneumonia. Though cancer remains the country’s No. 2 cause of death, killing about 600,000 people a year, the rate fell 2 percent in 2018, matching a similar drop the year before.

Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings about the demographics of the life expectancy decline.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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