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U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline

Why are Americans dying younger?

U.S. life expectancy has declined 3 years in a row, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The average American life expectancy was 78.6 years in 2017, down from 78.7 years in 2016. While that drop is small, it’s significant in that it represents the third consecutive year of decline. Experts attribute the trend to an increase in accidental and unintentional deaths from drug overdoses as a result of opioids.

The report is in NCHS Data Brief, No. 328, 2018. To learn more, visit cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db328-h.pdf.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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