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Life Expectancy at All Time High, Death Rates Reach New Low, New Report Shows

Life Expectancy at All Time High, Death Rates Reach New Low, New Report Shows

US life expectancy reached nearly 78 years (77.9), and the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, both records, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007,” was issued recently by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The data are based on nearly 90% of death certificates in the United States.

The 2007 increase in life expectancy—up from 77.7 in 2006—represents a continuation of a trend. Over a decade, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007.

Other findings include:

• Record high life expectancy was recorded for both males and females (75.3 years and 80.4 years, respectively). While the gap between male and female life expectancy has narrowed since the peak gap of 7.8 years in 1979, the 5.1 year difference in 2007 is the same as in 2006.

• For the first time, life expectancy for black males reached 70 years.

• The US mortality rate fell for the eighth straight year to an all-time low of 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2007—2.1% lower than the 2006 rate of 776.5. The 2007 mortality rate is half of what it was 60 years ago (1,532 per 100,000 in 1947.)

• The preliminary number of deaths in the US in 2007 was 2,423,995, a 2,269 decrease from the 2006 total.

• Heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death, accounted for nearly half (48.5%) of all deaths in 2007.

• Between 2006 and 2007, mortality rates declined significantly for eight of the 15 leading causes of death. Declines were observed for influenza and pneumonia (8.4%), homicide (6.5%), accidents (5%), heart disease (4.7%), stroke (4.6%), diabetes (3.9%), hypertension (2.7%), and cancer (1.8%).

The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

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