Publicado: Vie, Noviembre 30, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

U.S. life expectancy drops, overdoses climb - govt report

U.S. life expectancy drops, overdoses climb - govt report

Drug overdoses and suicides helped fuel an increase in deaths in the USA last year, and also impacted the continued decline in life expectancy for Americans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

Overall, Americans could expect to live 78.6 years at birth in 2017, down a tenth of a year from the 2016 estimate.

Monaco and Japan now have the longest life expectancies in the world at 89 and 85 years.

While the average suicide rate in the United States has been steadily increasing for the past 20 years, the CDC's data also shows huge geographic disparities in suicide rates, with rural parts of the USA showing double the rate of urban areas.

Between them, these causes accounted for approximately 75 percent of total deaths across the USA a year ago.

Despite the sharp recent increases in drug-related deaths, some early signs suggest that 2017 could be the peak of the overdose epidemic. At the same time, there are plenty of areas where the maps don't align. The highest overdose rates were also concentrated in only a handful of states, including West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Regardless of what's driving the trend, it feels especially dire in a country as rich as this one. The uptick isn't much - a rise to 5 percent of children without insurance, or about 276,000 more uninsured children, from 4.7 percent in 2016 - but "with an improving economy and a very low unemployment rate, the fact that our nation is going backwards on children's health coverage is very troubling", said Joan Alker, the director of the center and lead author of the report.

Suicide was ranked as the 10th-leading cause of death for Americans of all ages and the second-leading leading cause of death for people between ages 10 and 34, the data said.

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That dramatic increase has been driven in large part by drugs like fentanyl and tramadol, which have increased fivefold since 2014.

-Deaths from flu and pneumonia rose by about 6 percent. The figure marks the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago, according to published reports.

"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors". This grim "top 10 list" remained unchanged from the previous year.

Of the nation's 10 leading causes of death, only the death rate for cancer fell past year. And female suicides increased at a higher rate than male suicides during this period, though more men than women die by suicide each year.

-The suicide rate was 14 deaths per 100,000 people. The CDC did not release state rates for suicides.

"So the frustration that many of us feel is that there are things that could save many lives", he said, "and we are failing to make those services available".

Drug overdose deaths accounted for 70,237 deaths previous year - almost 10% higher than in 2016 - with a significantly higher rate of death among men, compared to women.

In 2017, the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20 per 100,000) outpaced that in the most urban counties (about 11 per 100,000). However, this 2017 urban suicide rate is 16 percent higher than in 1999 (about 10 per 100,000), while the 2017 suicide rate for the most rural counties is 53 percent higher than in 1999 (about 13 per 100,000), the report indicates. He added that the CDC "is committed to putting science into action to protect USA health".

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