Another year, another decrease in life expectancy in the US

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Suicides and drug overdoses were two reasons for an increase in the number of deaths in the United States a year ago.

According to the report titled "Mortality in the United States, 2017", the life expectancy for a baby born in 2017 fell to 78.6. Women's life expectancy was 81.1 both years, whereas men's lowered from 76.2 to 76.1 years.

In an effort to visualize some of these grim statistics on a local level, spatial analytics company Esri sourced county-by-county health rankings for age-adusted mortality rates and put them into an interactive map.

Deaths by suicide have also spiked.

United States women continue to outlive men, and the death rate did decrease among 45- to 54-year-olds.

According to the CDC's data, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the U.S.in 2017 - a 9.6 percent increase from 2016. At the same time, there are plenty of areas where the maps don't align.

Meanwhile, the rates of overdose deaths involving methadone, heroin, and natural and semisynthetic opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine (in other words, prescription opioids) stayed the same from 2016 to 2017. The numbers keep climbing, contributing to a decline in the overall life expectancy rate, which began to fall in 2015 and 2017 after several decades of escalation.

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The primary group that saw jumps in their death rates were white Americans ― a 0.6 percent jump for white males and 0.9 percent for white females, according to the CDC. Accidental overdoses account for more than a third of unintentional injury deaths while intentional drug overdoses account for about a tenth of the suicides. The uptick isn't much - a rise to 5 percent of children without insurance, or about 276,000 more uninsured children, from 4.7 percent in 2016 - but "with an improving economy and a very low unemployment rate, the fact that our nation is going backwards on children's health coverage is very troubling", said Joan Alker, the director of the center and lead author of the report.

The most striking trend in suicide deaths is their geographic distribution. In 2017, there were 22 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, compared to six per 100,000 people in 1999.

In 2017, the US had 2.8 million deaths or nearly 70,000 more than the previous year.

Among the 10 leading causes of death, the cancer death rate fell, but there were an increase in seven others: suicide, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, flu/pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases and unintentional injuries.

It is not just drug overdoses and suicides driving the drop in life expectancy. The rate increased from almost 729 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 to almost 732 deaths in 2017 - a rise of 0.4 percent. In urban America, the rate is 11.1 per 100,000 people; in the most rural parts of the country, it is 20 per 100,000.

Data on drug overdoses shows a rapidly accelerating trend-a slower increase from 1999 until 2014, and then a skyrocketing 16 percent per year from 2014 until 2017.

Appleby, who overcame her own battles with mental illness, says she is a little surprised though at the national stat that shows the suicide rate is up 26% among men since 1999 but up 53% among women in that time.

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