Newly revised data released concurrently by the CDC Thursday showed that some 70,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017, fewer than previously thought but still a shockingly high figure.
Life expectancy in the United States dropped yet again as drug overdose deaths continued to climb - taking more than 70,000 lives in 2017 - and suicides rose, a U.S. government report said today. "Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide", CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.
The estimate of how long a person born in 2017 can expect to live in the United States is 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2016, the government statisticians say.
The rate of overdose deaths from heroin and some prescription opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, remained about the same from 2016 to 2017, the report said. The rise coincides with the opioid crisis ravaging through parts of the USA, concentrated in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Place also mattered when it came to drug overdose deaths, with some states registering higher numbers than others, the report shows. The difference further increased in 2017 with the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20.0 per 100,000) increasing to 1.8 times the rate for the most urban counties (11.1).
Thursday's reports revealed synthetic opioid-related overdose death rates rose by 45% on average, nationwide. When those death rates were broken down by ethnicity and sex, white people-both men and women-had a statistically significant increase in death rate, although their absolute rates were still lower than those of black men and women.
The top 10 leading causes of death - including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and suicide - were the same as in 2016, accounting for the majority of deaths.
Montana had the highest suicide rate, and NY the lowest.
All told, the United States recorded 2.8 million deaths in 2017, with middle-aged deaths making the biggest impact on life expectancy. The death rate among men was 29.1 per 100,000 a year ago, compared with 14.4 for women.
Americans are dying younger, as drug overdoses and suicide kill an increasing number of people, according to a grim new set of government statistics.
Final longevity numbers for 2014 through 2016 were published September 20 in Health, United States, 2017, an annual report produced by the NCHS. Cancer deaths declined by 2.1 percent in 2017, CNN noted. The rate increased by an average of 10 percent per year from 1999 to 2006, by 3 percent per year from 2006 to 2014, and a staggering 16 percent per year from 2014 to 2017.
The suicide death rate last year was the highest it's been in at least 50 years, according to USA government records. But it suggests that the decrease in 2015 was more than a blip-and it points to unfolding stories about health and death in the United States.
The percentage of suicides due to drug overdose has been inching downward. However, since 2008, suicide has ranked 10 and has been growing at an alarming rate.
Rates in rural US counties are almost twice as high as in urban counties, the government statisticians say.
The pattern of drugs involved in overdose deaths has changed in recent years.