Average life expectancy in U.S. at new high

While still falling below many other industrialized countries, average life expectancy in the U.S. has reached a new high of almost 78 years, CDC officials reported this week. Women live an average of 80.4 years and men 75.3 years, according to CDC data.

That's not the only good news. The CDC also concluded that the U.S. death rate has dropped to an all-time low of 760.3 deaths per 100,000 people. This figure has been dropping since the 1960s, helped by fewer deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Racial disparities in life expectancy are still clearly present--for example, white women have a life expectancy of 80.7 years while black women's life expectancy is 77 years--but the gap in life expectancy between whites and blacks has dropped 35 percent since 1989 to 4.6 years.

At present, the five leading causes of death in the U.S., accounting for 64 percent of all deaths, are heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents, the CDC reported.

To learn more about the CDC's findings:
- read this HealthDay News piece

Related Articles:
SPOTLIGHT: Some U.S. populations see life expectancy drop
Study: African-Americans with equal care more likely to die of some cancers
SPOTLIGHT: Despite high health spending, U.S. continues to lag