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Life Expectancy In US Drops For The First Time In Decades

First Posted: Dec 10, 2016 03:00 AM EST

Americans are dying younger and this baffles scientists. For the first time since 1993, the overall life expectancy in the United States has declined significantly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans can now expect to live 78.8 years, which has dropped 0.1 from the previous year. Though it does not mean much, but it could continue to decrease especially when the results for 2016 will be released in December 2017.

"This is a big deal," Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, said as reported by NPR"There's not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy. The fact that it's leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding," he added.

However, women are expected to live longer than men. Women could expect to live on at an average of 81.2 years, while men with 76.3 years, which are both lower in 2015 than they were in 2014.

On the other hand, life expectancy when people reach 65 years old is the same with 19.4 years more. For women, they could expect to live for another 20.6 years and men for 18 years more.

What They Also Found

They found that the 10 leading causes of deaths in the United States were the same from 2014 to 2015. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death, followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide.

Heart disease and cancer are both the top killers among Americans. The good news is, there are a lot of precautions people could do to prevent the occurrence of these diseases -- eat a balanced diet, engage in physical activity and stay away from smoking.

"One year does not form a trend," Dr. Jiaquan Xu, an epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, said as reported by CNN"We need more data. If you look back to 1993, it decreased but hasn't decreased again (until now). Hopefully, that's what we're seeing here," he added.

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