U.S. life expectancy rises while death rate falls

May 04, 2011

The CDC reports Americans are living longer than ever.

U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, while the death rate has fallen for the 10th straight year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Americans born in 2009 are likely to live longer than ever, with life expectancy inching up to 78.2 years that year, up from 78 years in 2008. Both genders had life expectancy bumps, with it rising by two tenths of a year for men, and one-tenth of a year for women. However, the life expectancy gap between the country's white and black populations rose slightly, to 4.3 years in 2009 from 4.1 years in 2008.

Some patients may see their health and life insurance premiums decline, as the report found that 10 out of the 15 leading causes of death dropped considerably in 2009. Deaths from heart disease fell by 3.7 percent while those from cancer declined by just over one percent. Moreover, death rates from chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer's Disease and diabetes also decreased. Overall, the report said there were 36,336 fewer deaths in 2009 compared to the year before.

While the bump in life expectancy is certainly positive, the U.S. still trails behind several other nations in that respect. According to the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, Monaco currently has the world's highest life expectancy at 89.7 years. The U.S. ranked at number 50, lower than countries such as the Cayman Islands, Jordan and Singapore.

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