Life expectancy for Americans down again, according to CDC report

Drug overdoses claimed 70,237 lives in 2017 while suicides numbered more than 47,000 over the same period

We'll look behind the rising numbers and talk about how to save lives.

A report from a few months ago says North Dakota had the largest suicide rate increase.

Robert Anderson, chief of the Center for Health Statistics' mortality branch, tells the Post's Bernstein that the leveling off of prescription drug deaths may be the result of public health initiatives created to curb the widespread availability and subsequent abuse of such medicines.

A Boston University analysis draws a stark picture of how guns are affecting life expectancy rates in the US - especially for black Americans. Drug overdoses claimed the lives of more than 70,000 Americans in 2017.

"Our study using cumulative data from 2000 to 2016 demonstrates a total firearm life expectancy loss of 905.2 days, which is nine times greater than observed in 2000, indicating increasing life expectancy loss by year", wrote lead author Bindu Kalesan and her colleagues. Only 17,000 people died of overdoses that year. Rates in rural USA counties are almost twice as high as in urban areas, statisticians said.

"The increase partly reflects the nation's growing and aging population".

Snyder says through medication like methadone, they're able to help people through their addictions and minimize deaths.

Rolling Stone: "Life Expectancy Is Going Down Because of ODs and Suicides" - "Life expectancy in the United States has dropped for the third year in a row, as suicide and overdose deaths continue to rise, according to a new report released Thursday by the Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics. We're seeing a drop in life expectancy because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s", Harvard Medical School's Kathryn McHugh told NPR. "This divergent race-specific life expectancy loss by age is in line with current evidence that suggests vast race differences in the years of life lost due to firearms before age 65 years".

In fact, current life expectancy trends now rival the year 1918, when the country was reeling from the influenza pandemic. Similarly in 2017, the drug overdose death rate was 21.7 per 100,000 deaths, while in 1999 that number was only 6.1.

Suicides increased by 3.7 percent in 2017. Deaths involving fentanyl increased more than 45 percent in 2017 alone, while deaths from legal painkillers remained stable from 2016 to 2017. Of the top 10 leading causes of death-heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (drug overdoses constituted slightly less than half of this category in 2017), chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide-only cancer witnessed a decrease in mortality rates.

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