U.S. life expectancy at birth continued to decline in 2017, from 78.7 years to 78.6, largely due to increase deaths from unintentional injuries, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to separate reports examining deaths from drug overdoses and suicide the overdose death rate increased 9.6 percent in 2017, including a 45 percent jump due to synthetic opioids other than methadone, and the suicide death rate has increased by one-third since 1999. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “CDC is committed to putting science into action to protect U.S. health, but we must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier lives.”
 
 

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