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Changes in life expectancy rate

Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

The government recently reported that the life expectancy of men and women dropped by one month.  I was a bit surprised by this as life expectancy had been inching up slowly.  Current statistics show that a baby born in 2008 is expected to live until the average age of 77.8 years.  However, life expectancy rate dropping has occurred previously – in 2005 and 1993.

The author of the report, Arialdi Minino, told AARP Magaizne that the change “is minuscule” and that it will “take years of data to determine if that’s a trend.”

Other interesting facts from the National Center for Health Statistics report were stroke as a leading cause of death fell from the third to the fourth spot. Death rates also went up for Alzheimer’s disease, flu and pneumonia, high blood pressure, suicide and kidney disease.  The leading cause of death continues to be both heart disease and cancer, which cause more than half of all deaths in the United States.

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