CDC: Life expectancy for U.S. population increased in 2019

Life expectancy for the U.S. population increased in 2019, while the rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 2018 to 2019, according to two December data briefs published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Kenneth D. Kochanek, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to examine life expectancy in the United States. The researchers found that life expectancy was 78.8 years for the U.S. population in 2019, an increase of 0.1 year from 2018. There was a 1.2 percent decrease in the age-adjusted death rate from 2018 to 2019, from 723.6 to 715.2 deaths per 100,000 standard population.

Holly Hedegaard, M.D., also from the National Center for Health Statistics, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to update statistics on deaths from drug overdoses. The researchers observed an increase in the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths from 2018 to 2019, from 20.7 to 21.6 per 100,000. The highest rate of drug overdose deaths was seen for adults aged 35 to 44 years in 2019 (40.5 per 100,000). Compared with 2013 to 2017, from 2017 through 2019, the average annual increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone was lower (9 versus 75 percent per year).

“From 1999 through 2019, rates increased for all groups aged 15 and over, although the patterns of increase varied by age group,” Hedegaard and colleagues write.