U.S. Life Expectancy Drops amid “Disturbing” Rise in Overdoses and Suicides

December 07, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


National data suggest a decline in U.S. life expectancy is partly due to increased suicide and overdose deaths. According to three reports released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy fell to 78.6 years in 2017, down 0.1 from the year before. In that period, overdose deaths increased nearly 10 percent and suicide deaths continued to rise. The most recent data show that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death overall and the second most common cause of death among people ages 10 to 34. Young people are also at increased risk for overdose deaths, say experts. To reverse these trends, CDC Director Robert Redfield emphasized the importance of prevention. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” Redfield said.

Spark Extra! Read a statement from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.