Americans living longer
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 17, 2007
Life expectancy in 2004 increased to 77.8 years, a record level, according to an Aug. 21 report from the National Center for Health Statistics. In addition, the age-adjusted death rate declined to a record low.
Heart disease led the causes of death in 2004, the latest year for which final data are available, followed by cancer, stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease. Differences in mortality between black and white populations persisted, even though a trend toward convergence continued.
In 2004, 2,397,615 deaths were reported -- 50,673 fewer than in 2003. This represents the largest single-year decline in death counts in the U.S. since 1938, the report noted.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/09/17/hlbf0917.htm.