WASHINGTONLife expectancy in the United States reached 76.9 years in 2000, a record high, according to preliminary figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC attributed the increase in part to continuing declines in the aged-adjusted death rates for cancer and heart disease, the nation’s two leading causes of death.
Mortality from HIV infection decreased 3.7% last year, its fifth consecutive year of decline. Adjusted death rates also fell for other leading causes of death: homicide, suicide, accidents or "unintentional injuries," strokes, diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
Mortality increased for Alzheimer’s disease, influenza, pneumonia, kidney disease, hypertension, septicemia, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, an age-related illness that made the top 15 causes of death for the first time.