US life expectancy falls - study

2010-12-10 21:39
Washington - Life expectancy has dropped slightly for all Americans except for black men, who gained around two and a half months in longevity, a report released on Thursday found.

Data gathered by the National Centre for Health Statistics showed that life expectancy for most American men was 75.3 years in 2008, down by one-tenth of a year from 2007.

Women also saw a drop in the number of years they can expect to live, from 80.4 years to 80.3 years, the data shows.

Black men, on the other hand, bucked the trend and reached a record-high life expectancy of 70.2 years in 2008, up by 0.2 years compared to 2007.

They were still the shortest-lived Americans, though, with life spans around 10 years less than white women, who have the highest life expectancy, followed by black women and white men.

'Preliminary numbers'

The pattern of white women enjoying the longest lives and black men the shortest has held true for nearly three decades, but life expectancy for all groups has generally increased over those 30 years.

Arialdi Minino, a statistician who worked on the report, told the Washington Post that officials have no idea what may have caused the fall in longevity in 2008.

"I would take this with a grain of salt," he said.

"These are preliminary numbers. You can never tell whether this is a little blip or some trend that will stay there and linger there for some time. You can't tell until you have more data points."

The best state to live in, in terms of mortality, was Hawaii, which had an age-adjusted death rate of 589 deaths per 100 000 people in 2008.

The worst state for mortality was West Virginia, where the age-adjusted death rate was more than one-and-a-half times greater than in Hawaii - 958 per 100 000 people.

Heart disease remained the leading cause of death in the US, followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and accidental injury.

The sixth leading cause of death was Alzheimer's disease, one of six diseases or causes for which the age-adjusted death rate increased significantly, the study says.

A study released in October said the US ranked 49th in the world for male and female life expectancy, a precipitous drop from the fifth place it held in 1950.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    us  |  health

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Folau a doubt for Wales clash
England merchandise 'reduced to clear'
White all ears over England job
16 stats and facts: Springboks v USA
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.