Wednesday, March 16, 2011

U.S. Life Expectancy Rose to Record High in 2009

ATLANTA (AP) -- "U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising to 78.2 years (see chart above). The estimate of 78 years and 2 months is for a baby born in 2009, and comes from a preliminary report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009 - roughly 36,000 fewer deaths than the year before. Deaths were down for a range of causes, from heart disease to homicide, so experts don't believe there's one simple explanation for the increase in life expectancy. Better medical treatment, vaccination campaigns and public health measures against smoking are believed to be having an impact.

U.S. life expectancy has been generally increasing since at least the 1940s, though some years it held steady and a few times it temporarily dipped.

More good news from the report: The infant mortality rate hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1,000 live births, a drop of nearly 3 percent from 2008."

HT: Robert Kuehl


At 3/16/2011 8:07 PM, Blogger MovingEast said...

Still some way to go.

At 3/16/2011 9:16 PM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

... and then the British NHS was adopted by the Obama administration.

At 3/16/2011 9:20 PM, Blogger Chimp said...

Is it fair to say that advances in medical technology cause our life expectancy to increase? These technology advances cost money so as life expectancy increases the cost of health care increases. I would also guess that each year we add to our life expectancy cost more than the one before. Increasing life expectancy causes exponential increase in health care costs. A 400lb McDonalds customer with clogged arteries can now ride his scooter around to a ripe old age when naturally he should die young. Keeping fatty alive is very expensive!

At 3/17/2011 8:48 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

I doubt the better medical treatment hypothesis. It is really all about sanitation, nutrition, and personal control. As you get richer, you get more control and that improves your health.
My hypothesis is that the net of good and harm done by modern medicine comes out to zero.

At 3/17/2011 9:26 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Still some way to go."

This is because of the way that other countries treat the death of infants, particularly preemies. It is also reflective of the higher accidental death and homicide rates in the U.S.. If you adjust for these factors the U.S. goes to the top of that list. Apples and oranges.

At 3/18/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Great, all I need to do is get born this year.

At 3/18/2011 9:43 PM, Blogger Lones Smith said...

Swap Brith to Birth and your graph would be more usable.

Where'd the data come from?

At 3/19/2011 12:52 AM, Blogger MovingEast said...

Che is dead :

citation please?

At the end of the day, we are spending 2x as much for a worse outcome. I'm frustrated with the US system, having lived here and overseas (job opportunities are better in the US by far, but healthcare is much much worse). It's a long debate, but your statement is untrue. The US is not top by any measure.


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