According to 2017 data, the life expectancy for Americans fell again. It’s now 78.6 years, down three-tenths of a year since 2014.
Economists consider life expectancy to be an important measure of a nation’s prosperity, but last year’s data paints a darker picture of health in the U.S.
One of the reasons for the drop is the sharpest annual increase in suicides in nearly a decade and a continued rise in deaths from opioid drugs.
Life expectancy for Americans fell again last year, despite growing recognition of the problems driving the decline and federal and local funds invested in stemming them.
Data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Thursday show life expectancy fell by one-tenth of a year, to 78.6 years, pushed down by the sharpest annual increase in suicides in nearly a decade and a continued rise in deaths from powerful opioid drugs like fentanyl. Influenza, pneumonia and diabetes also factored into last year’s increase.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal (paywall)