From Our 2009 Archives
Life Expectancy Still Heading Higher
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U.S. Life Expectancy Rose By More Than a Year From 1997 to 2007
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
Aug. 19, 2009 -- Life expectancy continues its upward trend in the U.S., notching up by about two-and-a-half months in 2007 over 2006.
That may not sound like a lot, but step back and look at the gain over a decade: Babies born in 2007 have a life expectancy that's 1.4 years greater than babies born in 1997.
Here are the latest life expectancy figures, as published by the CDC today, based on preliminary data from 2007:
The report also lists the top 15 causes of death among U.S. adults and the change in their age-adjusted death rate since 2006:
The preliminary infant death rate was 6.77 infant deaths per 1,000 live births -- essentially unchanged from 2006. The top three causes of infant death were birth defects, disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome.
A total of 2,423,995 people of all ages died in 2007, down from 2,426,264 in 2006, and the nation's age-adjusted death rate dropped.
The CDC will publish final life expectancy and death data for 2007 later this year. Cause of death data may change, as the cause for some 2007 deaths may not have been determined in time for the CDC's preliminary report.
Curious about how U.S. life expectancy stacks up against the rest of the world? In May, a World Health Organization report showed that Japan has the world's highest life expectancy -- 83 years -- while the African nations of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mali, and Nigeria have a life expectancy of 49.
SOURCES: CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports; Aug. 19, 2009; vol 58. WebMD Health News: "Best, Worst Countries for Life Expectancy."
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