According to a statement given out by the federal government on Thursday, December 8th, 2016, the life expectancy among Americas has dropped for the first time since 1993. The latest data suggests that the death rate has increased in recent years, more specifically among U.S. citizens younger than 65 years old.
Even though he was not involved in the analysis, Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina expresses his concerns.
“This is a big deal”, states Mr. Morgan.
The government has reasons to be concerned, as the life expectancy of a particular country’s citizens represents a direct indicator of well-being. However, the chief of the mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, Robert Anderson, believes that the data gathered back in 2015 may be corrupted. Also, the information on life expectancy among Americans gathered in the first quarter of 2016 supports his claims. Furthermore, he says that the government analysts will need more information on the subject and updated reports before reaching a final conclusion.
However, Mr. Anderson is not so quick to dismiss the last year’s findings. During 2015, the death rate among American citizens went up from 724.6 deaths per 100,000 people to 733.1 per 100,000. Even though these numbers do not necessarily represent a major concern, the life expectancy slightly dropped in 2015 due to the increase in the death rate.
Back in 1993, when the last decrease in life expectancy has been registered, the deaths were associated with homicide, flu, accidents, and AIDS. However, the recent drop in life expectancy is linked to stroke and heart disease. Also, in 2015, many deaths were associated with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney disease, and respiratory disease. Many Americans also committed suicides or succumbed to unintentional fatal injuries.
The officials now turn their attention to obesity. They believe that an obesity epidemic could have a major role to play in the matter. Even more so as weight-related issues also set the scene for strokes, diabetes, heart disease, and maybe even Alzheimer’s. No matter the cause, the life expectancy in other industrialized countries is on the rise at the moment.
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