Death Be Not Proud: Life expectancy flat, low infant mortality

A child born last year can expect to live – or most likely just while away – for almost 80 years before it returns to the nothingness whence it came. Then again, that hypothetical child would live a bit longer if it were of the female persuasion as opposed to the male gender – 4.8 years longer to be exact. For the third year in a row life expectancy in the United States reached 78.8 years, while infant mortality dropped 2.3% to an all-time low of 582.1 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. “This is potentially the best news we’ve had yet,” CDC demographer T.J. Matthews was quoted as saying in the New York Times. It is also good news for vendors of pediatric and elderly medical supplies such as Discount Medical Supplies (cheap plug).

These are some of the findings from a 2014 mortality in the U.S. report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released on December 9th.

Life expectancy at selected ages by gender

 

At birth

At age 65

2013

2014

2013

2014

Both sexes

78.8 years

19.3 years

Male

76.4 years

17.9 years

18.0 years

Female

81.2 years

20.5 years

         

 

The age-adjusted death rate for the total population of the United States dropped 1.0%, from 731.9 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2013 to 724.6 in 2014 – including non-Hispanic black males (2.1%), non-Hispanic black females (1.3%), non-Hispanic white males (0.5%), non-Hispanic white females (0.7%), Hispanic males (2.0%), and Hispanic females (2.5%).

Deaths per 100,000 standard population

 

Non-Hispanic

Hispanic

Black

White

 

Male

2013

1,083.3

876.8

639.8

2014

1,060.3

872.3

626.8

Female

2013

740.6

638.4

448.6

2014

731.2

633.8

437.5

 

The 10 leading of causes of death – which accounted for 73.8% of all deaths in the United States in 2014 – remained the same as in 2013:

1.       Heart disease.

2.       Cancer.

3.       Chronic lower respiratory diseases.

4.       Unintentional injuries.

5.       Stroke.

6.       Alzheimer’s disease.

7.       Diabetes.

8.       Influenza and pneumonia.

9.       Kidney disease.

10.   Suicide.

Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death

 

Deaths per 100,000 standard population

 

2013

2014

Increased/Decreased

Heart disease

169.8

167

¯ 1.6%

Cancer

163.2

161.2

¯ 1.2%

Chronic lower respiratory diseases

42.1

40.5

¯ 3.8%

Unintentional injuries

39.4

40.5

­ 2.8%

Stroke

36.2

36.5

­ .8%

Alzheimer’s disease

23.5

25.4

­ 8.1%

Diabetes

21.2

20.9

¯ 1.4%

Influenza and pneumonia

15.9

15.1

¯ 5%

Kidney disease

13.2

 

Suicide

12.6

13

­ 3.2%

 

Infant mortality rate (IMR), which is deemed a fairly good indicator of the population’s general health, hit a record low of 582.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014 from 596.1 in 2013. The 10 leading causes of infant death – accounting for 69.1% of all infant deaths in the United States in 2014 – remained the same as in 2013.

Infant mortality rates for the 10 leading causes of infant death

 

Infant deaths per 100,000 live births

 

2013

2014

Congenital malformations

121

119

Low birth weight

106.9

104.6

Maternal complications

40.6

39.5

Sudden infant death syndrome

39.7

38.7

Unintentional injuries

29.4

29.1

Cord and placental complications

24.2

Newborn bacterial sepsis

14.7

13.6

Newborn respiratory distress

13.3

11.5

Circulatory system diseases

11.6

11.1

Neonatal hemorrhage

9.9

11.1

 

Researchers are neither sure why life expectancy has leveled off nor why infant mortality has declined, though suicides and fatal drug overdoses, and a fall in respiratory distress, respectively, seem to be playing a part. And in spite of the “good news that the infant mortality rate dropped last year,” director of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Steven Woolf warns that “still much higher than the average of all the countries in the” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Related: How I Met Your Mother? She survived pregnancy