Average life expectancy is beginning to drop in the United States. While a marginal dip at the moment, expect this trend to accelerate as the years go on and people become fatter, poorer, less educated, and more addicted –
On average, the overall life expectancy, for someone born in 2015, fell from 78.9 years to 78.8 years. The life expectancy for the average American man fell two-tenths of a year — from 76.5 to 76.3. For women, it dropped one-tenth — from 81.3 to 81.2 years.
“It’s remarkable,” Morgan says. “There are lots of things about this that are unexpected.”
Most notably, the overall death rate for Americans increased because mortality from heart disease and stroke increased after declining for years. Deaths were also up from Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disease, kidney disease and diabetes. More Americans also died from unintentional injuries and suicide. In all, the decline was driven by increases in deaths from eight of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.
“When you see increases in so many of the leading causes of death, it’s difficult to pinpoint one particular cause as the culprit,” Anderson says.
The obesity epidemic could be playing a role in the increase in deaths from heart disease, strokes, diabetes and possibly Alzheimer’s. It could also be that doctors have reached the limit of what they can do to fight heart disease with current treatments.
The epidemic of prescription opioid painkillers and heroin abuse is probably fueling the increase in unintentional injuries, Arun Hendi, a demographer at Duke University, wrote in an email. The rise in drug abuse and suicide could be due to economic factors causing despair.
“Clearly, that could be related to the economic circumstances that many Americans have experienced in the last eight years, or so, since the recession,” says Irma Elo, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Whatever the cause, the trend is concerning, especially when the death rate is continuing to drop and life expectancy is still on the rise in most other industrialized countries.
Meanwhile, record cold temperatures are on their way to much of the United States, suggesting that climate change is a real phenomenon, only it is not man-made and we are getting colder instead of warmer. The weather is getting worse with each passing year, natural disasters are becoming more common, and millions of lives will be lost to an angry Mother Nature alone. Civil liberties are jeopardized as never before – for example, Congress just voted to force tracking devices on the disabled – race relations are in the toilet, the economy never recovered in spite of what we’ve been told, infrastructure is collapsing, political polarization is at its worse since the 1860s, and all of this and more will only produce more despair and demoralization in people. All the signs are there, America is a nation in serious decline …