ibusinesslines.com December 09, 2018

Opioid crisis leads to decline in average life expectancy — CDC

02 December 2018, 08:11 | Melissa Porter

CC0‘Simply Outrageous’ Big Pharma Jacks Up Price of Life Saving Drug Sixfold Amid US Opioid Epidemic

Pharma drugs

A trio of reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released yesterday reveal that, while all 10 of the leading causes of death from 2016 remain identical to those of 2017, another factor is contributing the overall decline in life expectancy. It was the most deaths in a single year since the USA government began counting more than a century ago. In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-34.

US life expectancy dropped in 2017 for the third consecutive year, as deaths by suicide and drug overdose continue to claim more American lives.

Additionally, last year's suicide death rate (47,000) reached an all-time high in at least 50 years.

Increases have been prominent among the female population despite the fact that most people who die by suicide are still male.

For decades, US life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months almost every year.

"We must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier", Redfield said in his statement, of the decline in life expectancy. Prior to 2015, USA life expectancy had not declined for several decades.

In reality, the increased death rates are seen as the cost of doing business, necessary to funnel ever greater sums of money into the pockets of robber barons like Jeff Bezos and fuel unprecedented spending on the USA military.

- The 10 leading causes of death in 2017 - and 2016 - in order were heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

The number one cause of death in the USA, heart disease, levelled off. Improvements in prevention and treatment of the condition usually offset increases in other leading causes of death. In years past, declines in heart disease deaths were enough to offset increases in some other kinds of death, but no longer, Anderson said.

A young woman
Pixabay Suicide Rates Climb Dramatically Across US CDC Report Finds

Life expectancy fell for the first time in decades in 2015.

Most notable is the widening gap between urban and rural Americans. VoteCast surveyed more than 115,000 voters nationwide as Americans cast ballots in this year's midterm elections. In 2017, the United States saw 70,237 deaths from drug overdoses.

Newly revised data released concurrently by the CDC Thursday showed that some 70,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017, fewer than previously thought but still a shockingly high figure.

That's not quite cause for celebration, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University.

Levine said Vermont has "hovered around the national average" for overdose deaths for several years. However, deaths in younger groups have the biggest impact on life expectancy calculations.

In 2017, Americans overall could expect to live to 78.6.

According to the CDC report, the age-adjusted suicide rate in 1999 was 10.5 per 100,000. In the West, where heroin is much less likely to be mixed with fentanyls, overdose rates are far lower. "We're seeing a drop in life expectancy because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s", McHugh said. The rate has increased on average by 16 percent per year since 2014 and more than tripled since 1999.

If you're thinking about suicide, are anxious about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 across the United States at 1-800-273-8255. The data also show that the increased deaths correspond strongly with the use of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. But deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins continued to soar in 2017.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a health conference in October, when that data came out, that the "seemingly relentless trend of rising overdose deaths seems to be finally bending in the right direction". That's about 1,000 more than in 2016. But deaths from unintentional injuries were up significantly from 2016.

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