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U.S. life expectancy drops for first time in more than two decades

Posted at 11:45 AM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 11:45:44-05
Life expectancy for Americans fell for the first time since 1993. (CDC)

Life expectancy for Americans fell for the first time since 1993. (CDC)

People are dying sooner, a new report shows.

Life expectancy at birth decreased from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015, largely because of increases in mortality from eight of the 10 leading causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 10 leading causes accounted for about 75 percent of all deaths last year. Rates increased significantly for heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.

Cancer death rates did fall by 1.7 percent.

Men were hit harder than women, the report shows. Male life expectancy decreased from 76.5 years in 2015 to 76.3 years in 2015. Female life expectancy, which is 81.2 years, fell just .1.

The infant mortality rate also worsened, according to the CDC’s report. The leading cause of infant fatality is congenital abnormalities. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also rose as a cause of death.

This was the first decrease in U.S. life expectancy in more than two decades.