American Life-Expectancy Falls For Second Straight Year As Drug Overdoses Soar

Sunday, December 24, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Dec 23, 2017

The twin scourges of opioid addiction and worsening wealth inequality are literally draining the lifeblood from the American public. Case in point: The Centers for Disease Control confirmed earlier today that the average life expectancy at birth declined in 2016 for the second consecutive year – the first multiyear decline since 1963, when a flu epidemic led to a rash of deaths as hundreds of thousands of elderly Americans succumbed to the virus.

The increase has been fueled by a 21% rise in drug overdose deaths, according to the Washington Post.

Let that sink in for a second: In 1963, penicillin was a relatively recent innovation. We live in an age of unprecedented medicinal efficacy. Despite this, Americans are sicker than ever before.

And as if that weren’t enough, they’re also spending more on health-care than ever before. Data from the NHE shows the US spent a staggering $3.3 trillion on healthcare in 2016, equivalent to roughly 18% of GDP.

“I think we should take it very seriously,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics, told the Washington Post. “If you look at the other developed countries in the world, they’re not seeing this kind of thing. Life expectancy is going up.”

As we’ve highlighted time and time again, more than 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses alone in 2016 – a 28% increase over 2015. When deaths from drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines are included, the overall increase was 21%.

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