According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American’s life expectancy has experienced a drop of 0.1% from 2014-2015, falling from 78.9 years to 78.8 years. Experts worry this may mark the start of a massive decline in American life expectancy. Critics, however, that think this drop may just be a momentary blip on the radar that will not affect life expectancy in the future.
The life expectancy for American women dropped from 81.3 years to 81.2 years, and the average life expectancy for men dropped from 76.5 years to 76.3 years. The top ten major causes of death remained the same in 2015, with heart disease and cancer topping the list. However, the prevalence of all of these causes of death increased, except for cancer, which experienced a drop from 161.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 158.5.
The US infant mortality rate also increased, from 582.1 deaths per 100,000 live births to 589.5. However, experts believe this change to not be particularly alarming.
This is the first drop in over twenty years. The streak of improvement had been going on since 1994.
Researchers are still trying to conclude what has led to the decline and if it is the start of a trend or just a quirk. There have been occurances in the past of one year declines, although those were typically linked to disease outbreaks.