Americans dying younger as opioid crisis deepens

Americans dying younger as opioid crisis deepens

Heart disease and cancer were still the leading causes of death by a wide margin, killing more than 152 people out of every 100,000 in 2017-although deaths from cancer decreased significantly. Some of the states in those regions-Kentucky, Tennessee, and New Mexico, for instance-also face notably higher mortality rates for drug overdoses, when compared to a CDC map released earlier this year. West Virginia again led the nation with 57.8 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Ohio, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Drug overdoses alone took 70,237 lives in 2017, the highest number ever recorded for a single year. In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35-54. Death rates went up for white Americans, while staying flat or dropping for other racial groups.

Allowing for deaths involving multiple opioids, the CDC's numbers indicate that pain pills account for less than 30 percent of these deaths, and the actual number is probably considerably lower.

McHugh, too, sees a link between these two increasingly prevalent causes of death. Opioids caused 47,600 deaths in 2017, a record figure driven mainly by an increase in fentanyl deaths.

As a result, the average life span in America dropped to "78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2016", said the report.

Life expectancy in the U.S.is going down and it has researchers shaking their heads. It continued in 2016 and now the numbers for 2017 have been tallied and appear to follow the same downward slope. Suicide has consistently been among the 10 leading causes of death in the US over the past decade. From 2015 to 2016, the rate of increase was 26 percent, but from 2016 to 2017, it was 10 percent. And he noted that the rate of increase in opioid-related deaths has slowed in Vermont.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Washington Post notes that other factors contributed to an increased death rate previous year, including a spike in influenza deaths as well as fatalities from chronic low respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's disease and strokes.

Deaths by suicide, meanwhile, rose by 3.7% between 2016 and 2017, according to the new report. By comparison, the rate for women has increased from four per 100,000 to 14.

Among males, the rate increased 26 percent between 1999 and 2017, from about 18 suicides per 100,000 to almost 22 per 100,000.

Overall, suicides increased by a third between 1999 and 2017, the report showed. From 1999 to 2017, the overdose rate soared from 6.1 per 100,000 to 21.7 per 100,000. In 1999, the most urban counties in the United States had a suicide rate of 9.6 deaths per 100,000 people.

In a third report, the government detailed the ongoing growth of deaths from suicide, which has climbed steadily since 1999 and grown worse since 2006. Women's life expectancy was 81.1 both years, whereas men's lowered from 76.2 to 76.1 years. "We must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier lives".

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