Saturday, December 10, 2016

Life Expectancy in U.S. Declines Slightly

It’s recently been discovered that the life expectancy  for Americans has declined. This is actually the first time this has happened since H.I.V. related deaths were at an all time high in 1993. The increase in the death rate was over 86,000. The main issue with this happening is that researchers aren't able to find a single cause for this occurrence. The possible causes range from heart disease to suicides. Dr. Peter Muennig, a professor of health policy and management at Colombia University’s Mailman School of Public Health stated that, “A .01 decrease is huge. Life expectancy increases, and that's very consistent and predictable, so to see it decrease, that's very alarming.” Dr. Muennig believes that the reason for the decline in life expectancy can be pointed at the increase in both obesity rates and opioids. There is also a connection between the decline and race. The life expectancy for working class white people has dropped which could be because of alcohol abuse, suicide and economic issues. Income also has an effect because of the stress put on from financial troubles. The life expectancy for women continues to be higher than men by 4.9 years which has actually increased since 2014. The recent changes won’t pose a threat unless this decline continues to keep happening.


  1. This article is indeed very alarming. The United States is a first world country that is so advanced in it's technology and health-care practices. Even still, it is not very surprising that we are actually not doing so great. Look around, everything is going to shit. Our children aren't eating healthy diets, people are popping pills and dealing with so much stress. I think all the damage is finally catching up to us, and if we don't change our life-styles this decline will continue to progress

  2. This article shocked me. It is understandable that the way people are living now is not very healthy. Obesity and stress is definitely increasing. An individual’s lifestyle will have a great impact on their life expectancy. I am really hoping in a few years the life expectancy in the United States will begin to increase.

  3. Living in this area has definitely opened my eyes to the widespread abuse of opioids and the effects on populations. The only problem is that this is a multi-faceted issue, with many possible solutions. Even though our economy has slightly recovered from the depression in the early 2000s, many middle and lower class individuals are still without employment. Policy restructuring at the federal level, medical insurance, drug crackdowns, as well as drug rehabilitation are just a few of the categories that can be improved upon to reduce this alarming statistic.