The U.S. mortality rate is on the decline.
A report by the CDC last week said life expectancy for someone born in 2017 is down to 78.6 years — slightly down from 78.7 years from 2016.
Also, the suicide rate is at an 50-year high.
The report also states, at age 65, the life expectancy for the total population was 19.5 years, which was a slightly increased from 2016 (19.4 years).
Life expectancy is not supposed to decrease, says Elizabeth Cogbill with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
“Because of advances in technology and medicine, we expect that life expectancy continue to increase as we move forward,” she said. “Over the last few years, life expectancy has actually been declining, which is pretty unusual.”
Cogbill added that sudden deaths in younger people are causing the rate to drop.
“Life expectancy is going down largely do to, what we call, unintentional injuries — opioid death, suicide, other addiction, accidents and trauma, things like that,” Cogbill said, adding these are fixable issues.
“We are seeing so many initiatives focusing on behavior health, focusing on addiction,” she continued. “Really putting our resources, our dollars, our minds, towards these things.. That is really what needs to happen to put a halt on this epidemic.”
Read the entire report here.