Life Expectancies in the US Worsen (but with some bright spots)

The CDC has just published its new set of reports analyzing the trends in mortality and life expectancy from 2016 to 2017. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in overall life expectancies in the US.  Sources of mortality that have shown statistically significant increases in mortality are (from highest to lowest impact):

  • Uninentional Injuries
  • Influenza and pneumonia
  • Alzheimers
  • Diabetes
  • Suicide
  • Stroke
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases

On the other hand, improvement in cancer mortality was a rare source of light in an overall bleak report for US mortality.  Heart disease is still the most significant source of mortality.  There was a small improvement in heart disease mortality but not at a statistically significant level.

US Life Expectancies

The CDC has two reports that assess the increasing incidence of suicides and drug related deaths that are affecting the country. With regard to drug overdoses, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and DC all have all have age-adjusted death rates over 44 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 21.7.

A continuing and under reported phenomenon from the CDC reports is the vastly better rates of mortality for Hispanics relative to non-Hispanic whites.  In fact, male Hispanic mortality is at 71% of non-Hispanic white male mortality and female Hispanic mortality is at 67% of non-Hispanic white female mortality.  To give a sense of how enormous a difference this is, if heart disease deaths for whites ceased, non-Hispanic whites would still have higher mortality than Hispanics.

Age Adjusted Death Rates


The detailed reports can be found here.