CDC Reports Slight Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on Thursday, finding that U.S. life expectancy at birth slightly increased from 78.6 years to 78.7 years. The slight increase was the first since 2014 when the U.S. life expectancy had been declining, largely due to suicides and drug overdoses. The latest data available from 2018 also found that the number of fatal drug overdoses declined for the first time in 28 years.

The 10 leading causes of death in 2018 remained the same as in 2017. From 2017 to 2018, age-adjusted death rates decreased for six of 10 leading causes of death – heart disease (0.8 percent), cancer (2.2 percent), unintentional injuries (2.8 percent), chronic lower respiratory diseases (2.9 percent), stroke (1.3 percent), and Alzheimer’s disease (1.6 percent). Two of the leading causes of death increased – influenza and pneumonia (4.2 percent) and suicide (1.4 percent). Rates for diabetes and kidney disease did not change significantly.

Also, of note, the latest data found that the infant mortality rate decreased from 2.3 percent from 579.3 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017 to 566.2 in 2018. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2018 remained the same as in 2017.

The full CDC National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief is available here.