Suicide Rates Up, Life Expectancy Down, Says CDC


For the third year in a row, the Center for Disease Control has announced that the American lifespan has decreased. As was the case in previous years, this decrease in the American lifespan comes as a direct result of the most massive opioid crisis the world has ever seen. In addition to this large-scale, rampant public health problem, the rate of suicide, especially prevalent in white males, has taken a sharp turn upward.  The third leading cause for this sudden downturn in the life expectancy is a liver disease– something inextricably linked with drug abuse.  These are just symptoms of an uncomfortable, more significant public health problem that leaves many researchers scratching their heads.

For a nation that, per capita, spends more on healthcare than any country in the world, this is deeply troubling. For the director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, this data is worrisome. In a statement released yesterday, he said that “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.” Redfield later went on to compare 2017’s drug overdose statistics with other national epidemics, like the peak year of the HIV epidemic and found that the 70,000 overdose deaths last year outstripped those of all other major health crises this country has seen.

Suicide rates are also on the rise. While the tenth highest cause of death in this country, young people are being hit the hardest by this crisis. Among young people ages 25 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death– only behind the unintentional injury.

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