Overdose deaths reached a new high in 2017, exceeding 70,000 people, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics CDC.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, called the trend tragic and alarming. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health, and these sobering statistics are a wake up call that we too often lose too many Americans to preventable conditions,” he wrote in a statement.
An estimate of how long a person born in 2017 can expect to live in the United States is 78.6 years, which is 0.1 years less than in 2016, government statistics say.
As usual, women will continue to experience men. In 2016 and 2017, life expectancy for women was 81.1 years, and the average life expectancy for men decreased from 76.2 years in 2016 to 76.1 in 2017.
Most races and ethnic groups, including black men, Hispanic men and Hispanic women, did not see significant changes in their mortality during the year.
However, black women experienced a decline in mortality of 0.8% in 2017 compared with the previous year, which means they lived a little longer, while for white men the increase was 0.6% and for white women – by 0.9%.
Finally, the top 10 causes of death in 2017, which account for almost three quarters of all deaths throughout the country, were heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide. This grim "top 10 list" has not changed from the previous year.
Mortality from drug overdose
The rates have been consistently and significantly higher for men than women over the years, rising from about 8 men who died from an overdose per 100,000 in 1999, to 29 men per 100,000 in 2017. Among women, this figure increased from about 4 deaths from overdose per 100,000 in 1999 to about 14 per 100,000 in 2017.
The researchers found that age was an influential factor in these deaths. Adults aged 25 to 54 years old experienced the highest death rates from drug overdose in 2017. The group from 25 to 34 had almost 38 cases of overdose per 100,000 people, 35-44 patients had 39 per 100,000 people, and in 45-44 years the group had about 38 per 100,000 people.
Younger and older The report notes that people are more likely to die from overdose. People aged 15 to 24 years had about 13 deaths from overdose per 100,000 people, 55–64 people had 28 per 100,000 people, and 65 and older age groups had about 7 deaths per 100,000 people.
In general, the largest increase in mortality from drug overdose among adults was from 55 to 64 years from 1999 to 2017: in 1999 this group in this group had about 4 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 28 per 100,000 in 2017 year
Provisions also matter when it comes to death from a drug overdose, with some states registering higher numbers than others, the report says. The number in 2017 in West Virginia was almost 58 deaths from overdose per 100,000 people, in Ohio, about 46 per 100,000 people, in Pennsylvania – about 44 per 100,000 people, and in the District of Columbia – 44 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, in Texas (about 10 deaths from overdose per 100,000 people), in North Dakota (about 9 per 100,000 people), in South Dakota and Nebraska (about 8 per 100,000 people) were the lowest in 2017 .
The mortality rate from heroin overdose remained unchanged at about 5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 and 2017; which is seven times higher than in 1999. In contrast, overdose mortality involving fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) increased by 45% between 2016 and 2017, increasing from about 6 deaths per 100,000 to 9 people 100,000.
Among men, this figure increased by 26% between 1999 and 2017, from about 18 suicides per 100,000 to nearly 22 per 100,000.
Among women, this figure increased by 53% from 4 suicides per 100,000 in 1999 to almost 6 per 100,000 in 2017. Women aged 45 to 64 years old had the highest rates in 1999 (6 suicides per 100,000 people) and 2017 (almost 10 suicides per 100,000).
Government statistics say that rates in rural districts of the USA are almost twice as high as in urban districts.
In 1999, the suicide rate for most rural districts was about 13 per 100,000 people, compared with almost 10 per 100,000 in most urban districts.
In 2017, the suicide rate for most rural districts (20 per 100,000 people) outpaced this position in most urban districts (about 11 per 100,000 people). However, this suicide rate in 2017 is 16% higher than in 1999 (about 10 per 100,000 people), while the suicide rate in 2017 is 53% higher in most rural districts than in 1999 (about 13 per 100 000 people), the report says.
“We must work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier,” Redfield said in a statement about lowering life expectancy. He added that the CDC "is committed to ensuring that science acts to protect the health of the United States."