US life expectancy FALLS for the first time since the AIDS epidemic as deaths from suicide, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease all increase

Thursday, December 8, 2016
By Paul Martin

Life expectancy in the US dropped last year for the first time since 1993
The last two times that life expectancy fell was due to epidemics, AIDS in 1993 and a flu outbreak in 1980
There was an unusual upturn in the death rate from the nation’s leading killer, heart disease
Death rates also increased for chronic lower lung disease, accidental injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and suicide
An American born in 2015 is expected to live 78 years and 9½ months
An American born in 2014 could expect to live about month longer
8 December 2016

A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending – it declined last year and is no better than it was four years ago.

In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education.

But last year it slipped, a rare event in a year that did not include a major disease outbreak. Other one-year declines occurred in 1993, when the nation was in the grip of the AIDS epidemic, and 1980, the result of an especially nasty flu season.

In 2015, rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death rose. Even more troubling to health experts: the U.S. seems to be settling into a trend of no improvement at all.

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