In the US, life expectancy has reached alarming numbers
According to the latest studies, the life expectancy in the US, in particular, has begun to drop significantly in the last several years. Although overall, the differences with other years are not so obvious, the effect on the general population can be quite drastic.
As shown in the National Center for Health Statistics data, the average life expectancy of men has dropped from 76.5 years to 76.3 years between 2014 and 2015. For women, the situation is identical, although their lifespan is significantly higher than in the case of their manly counterparts. Their statistics showed a decreasing rate of 1 month, from 81.3 to 81.2.
The figures may seem relatively small, as in each case we are talking about an overall drop rate of several months, but the last known case was recorded back in the early 90s, during the AIDS crisis, which decimated thousands every year.
In general, women have a higher life expectancy than men, but the effect has been observed in both genres nationwide. Some of the causes are particularly linked to certain diseases, especially among the young. As the data shows, the first leading causes of death over the last year are:
- Alzheimer’s disease with a 15.7% rise compared to 2014
- Unintentional injuries, not entirely related to sports, with a rise of up to 6.7%
- Stroke, with a 3% rise
- Chronic respiratory diseases, including more than one affection – 2.7%
- Suicide – 2.3%
- Diabetes with 1.9%
- Kidney diseases with 1.5% and last but not least
- Heart diseases with a minor 0.9% increase when compared to the previous 2 years
However, heart diseases are the major killers in the US and, despite the minor increase in deaths coming as a result of the more severe degrees of the affections, the effects among the population are huge, especially when considering a large number of patients suffering from heart diseases already.
Their life expectancy is lower by the year and there seem to be a connection between the recently recorded lows and their lifestyle choices as well.
Do we influence the development of our life expectancy?
The major problem is that the diseases that lay at the foundation of the ever decreasing life expectancy levels depend on certain factors to trigger them and not all of them are outside our control. Among the most harmful lifestyle habits that could diminish our life expectancy we need to mention:
Unhealthy diets, combined with poor genetics and a sedentary lifestyle could end up in disaster and obesity is currently the main cause of heart disease and diabetes across the US.
- Lack of physical activity
During physical exercises, the body gets an increased dose of oxygen and useful nutrients, due to the elevated blood flow and the muscle stimulation. It is a great way to increase life expectancy and reduce the impact of a lot of diseases.
- Harmful habits
Smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, drug consumption, elevated levels of stress, depression, irregular sleeping schedules, all these take a toll on our wellbeing, preventing us from living healthy and prosperous lives.
Also, another important aspect is that life expectancy has decreased primarily among infants. We are not talking about birth problems, but some that occur after, during the babies’ first year of their life.
Among the causes mentioned by the National Center for Health Statistics, the most important ones include suffocation during sleep, car accidents, domestic accidents or fires and even drowning. Another factor is linked to inappropriate drug use, especially in the case of children, who are more sensitive to the compounds than adults.
However, we also have good news. The cancer death rates have dropped significantly over the past several years, greatly supporting a higher life expectancy among the patients.
This is a direct result of raising the public awareness through various educational problems and the medical advancements, leading to new treatments and medication.
Currently, the US rates as the 28th on the list of the countries divided by life expectancy figures. The top on the list is Japan, where people tend to live around 83.7 years, whereas the last is Sierra Leone, where life expectancy is 50.1. So it can be worse, it seems, but it can also be better.