Thursday, December 08, 2016

Dying Sooner

The National Center for Health Statistics says that life expectancy in the United States has declined for the first time in more than two decades, men from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 in 2015, and from 81.3 to 81.2 for women. This is the first drop in twenty years. Death rates have risen for eight out of 10 of the leading causes of death: heart disease (0.9% rise), chronic lower respiratory diseases (2.7% rise), unintentional injuries (6.7% rise), stroke (3% rise), Alzheimer's disease (15.7% rise), diabetes (1.9% rise), kidney disease (1.5% rise) and suicide (2.3% rise).

The US ranks 28th out of 43 OECD countries. It is just behind the Czech Republic, Chile and Costa Rica, and just above Turkey, Poland and Estonia. The world's highest life expectancy is in Japan at 83.7 years, which is followed by Switzerland and Spain at 83.3. The world's lowest life expectancy is in Sierra Leone, at 50.1 years.

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