U.S. Life Expectancy Reaches 77.9 Years

Age-adjusted death rate drops to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population

THURSDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Life expectancy in the United States has increased again, from 77.7 to 77.9 years -- a new record -- according to statistics released Aug.19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jiaquan Xu, M.D., and colleagues at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics issued the new report, "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007," which is based on nearly 90 percent of death certificates in the United States. The report states that life expectancy increased from 77.7 years in 2006 to 77.9 years in 2007. It increased by 1.4 years since 1997, when it was 76.5 years. In addition, the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths (from 776.5) per 100,000 population -- also a record.

According to the report, both males and females reached record high life expectancies in 2007 (75.3 and 80.4 years, respectively), and life expectancy for black males reached 70 years for the first time. In addition, heart disease and cancer accounted for 48.5 percent of all deaths.

"All of the sex, race, and Hispanic origin groups described in this report showed significant decreases in the age-adjusted death rate in 2007 from 2006, with the exception of American Indian or Alaska Native males, who experienced a decrease that was not statistically significant," the authors write.

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