Executive Intelligence Review


New Report: U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for the Second Year

March 13, 2018 (EIRNS)—Life expectancy in the United States dropped for the second year in a row, David Bishai reports in a Jan. 16 article in The Conversation, reprinted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. While gross domestic product in the U.S. is at an all-time high, U.S. life expectancy is not, Bishai, a Johns Hopkins Professor of Health Economics, reports. Life expectancy in the United States has fallen for the second time in two years—from a high of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 years in 2016. It fell across the board—for men and women, whites, blacks, and Hispanics. The statistics show that thousands were preventable, premature deaths.

Life expectancy is not supposed to fall in

“countries that are this rich, spend this much on health, and pride themselves in taking care of each other. As a demographer working in a school of public health, I am astounded by the complacency at the loss of so many Americans in the prime of life,”

he writes.

The latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that deaths for Americans under 65 rose by 20,566 between 2015 and 2016. Based on population growth alone, only 6,131 additional deaths would have been expected; therefore, the other 14,435 Americans died prematurely of causes that could have been prevented. These younger people died in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, and their death certificates list mostly opioid overdose, cirrhosis, suicide and homicide. Bishai reports, “Diseases of despair, like suicide and addiction, come from the failure of social solidarity and inclusion.”

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new “blueprint” showing how public health workers could address the crisis, called “Public Health 3.0.” It asks pharmacists and health professionals to train providers on diversion, forgery, and better pain management to address the “growing despair” that has afflicted our minds and bodies, says Bishai.