American life expectancy has fallen again.
The annual mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) highlights the disastrous impact of the social crisis on the American working class. Suicides and drug overdoses, what have been termed deaths of despair, have been identified as the driving forces behind the continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live.
Life expectancy also decreased from 2016 to 2017, going from 78.7 years to 78.6 years.
"That's kind of our saving grace", Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality-statistics branch of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics told the Wall Street Journal. That number marks a almost 10 percent increase from 2016 and the highest ever in the United States for a single year. The number of heroin deaths, 15,482, also did not rise from the previous year.
Nevertheless, the federal report is "a stark reminder that we must continue to do everything we can to prevent people from starting down the destructive and often fatal road of drug use disorder, and to ensure that treatment options exist for everyone in Vermont who needs them, no matter who they are or where they are", state Health Commissioner Mark Levine said.
New federal data show the Ohio Valley again led the nation in rates of fatal drug overdoses previous year.
Suicide rates for females were highest for those aged 45-64 in both 1999 (6.0 per 100,000) and 2017 (9.7). In most developed nations, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades.
Most alarming is that suicide rate in the most rural counties in the U.S.is now 1.8 times the rate in the most urban counties: with the rate in most rural counties at 20.0 per 100,000, and in the most urban at 11.1 per 100,000.
Suicide rate has increased over time from about 10 per 100,000 in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2017.
CDC & FDA
Between 2016 and 2017, suicide rates increased by 3.7 percent.
But now, co-occurrent crises have rendered life expectancy either flat or declining over the past three years. And he noted that the rate of increase in opioid-related deaths has slowed in Vermont. A baby born in the U.S., in 2017, is now expected to live 78 years and seven months.
Among the nation's 10 leading causes of death, only the cancer death rate fell in 2017, while 7 other causes increased.
Data shows that there were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the United States a year ago, a record-high. The 2017 report is the third in a row to show a decline in life expectancy.
The rate in drug overdoses has skyrocketed in the same period.
Still, the increase was not as big as the 21 percent leap in drug overdose death rate between 2015 and 2016.
According to the Associated Press, the suicide rate in America has reached a 50-year peak.
Overall, suicides increased by a third between 1999 and 2017, the report showed.
"So the frustration that many of us feel is that there are things that could save many lives", he said, "and we are failing to make those services available".