Life expectancy again falls in USA as opioid deaths rise

Life expectancy again falls in USA as opioid deaths rise

Life expectancy again falls in USA as opioid deaths rise

Life expectancy dipped for the second year in a row, from 78.7 years in 2015 to 78.6, according to the data, as the federal government and lawmakers work to respond to the epidemic of painkillers, heroin and synthetic drugs gripping the nation.

According to the latest analysis, US life expectancy fell from 78.7 in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016. The good news is that there are three things you can do to drastically reduce your risk of developing both: eat right, exercise and don't smoke.

Life expectancy in the United States, however, hasn't fallen two years consecutively since the early 1960s. All these factors combined caused American life expectancy to fall from 78.7 to 78.6, breaking down gender specifically to 81.1 for women and 76.1 for men.

"I was pretty shocked to see that our life expectancy has declined for the second year in a row", says Arun Hendi, a demographic and sociologist at the University of Southern California. A CDC report showed that drug overdoses shot up alarmingly in 2016 to over 63,600, more than 42,200 of which were due to opioids. These substances, such as fentanyl, can be 50 times more potent than heroin, and deaths from synthetic opioids more than doubled to about 19,400 in 2016.

Overdose deaths from all drugs, including non-opioids, stood at 63,600 past year, an increase of 21 percent over the 2015 number.

The upsurge suggests the epidemic "appears to be accelerating", he says.

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Opioid death rates continue to increase sharply in the United States, with a 28 percent rise in 2016.

In 2015, 16.3 people for every 100,000 living in the U.S. died of a drug overdose. "So we think of it all being signs that something is really wrong and whatever is it is that's really wrong ishappening nationwide", Case says.

While drug mortality has been increasing among all age groups since 1999, it's highest among those ages 25 to 54. "We need to get a handle on it". In comparison, the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2015 was around 33,000. West Virginia had an overdose death rate of 52 per 100,000, and OH had 39.1 per 100,000.

"This is no longer an opioid crisis", said Patrick Kennedy, a former Rhode Island congressman who was a member of President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. But there's "a bias in recovery circles" against treatments like these, he says. The political dithering cost 174 deaths a day from drug overdoses in 2016 - one every 8½ minutes, he said.

The report noted the 11 main causes of deaths - heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide - remained unchanged from 2015 to 2016.

"It gives you sort of an overall sense of what's going on", Anderson says. Together, the drug overdose epidemic and a plateau in improved mortality rates from cardiovascular disease are "affecting the entire national picture". Anderson added that the increase was dramatic and far more than other one-year increases to date.

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