Life expectancy continues upward trend

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 31, 2009

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Average U.S. life expectancy reached 77.9 years in 2007, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 from 776.5 per 100,000 in 2006. Both figures are evidence of a continuing trend toward longer life.

The findings were issued Aug. 19 in the report, "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007," by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (link).

Life expectancy increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 years in 2007. For men, life expectancy averaged 75.3 years; for women, 80.4 years. For the first time, life expectancy for black males reached 70 years. Data used in the report were taken from death certificates. The report identified heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death, responsible for nearly half of all deaths in 2007.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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