Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
The long decline in Americans’ death rates has reversed course, according to preliminary 2015 numbers for all causes of mortality as compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Source: “Reversing Long-Term Trend, Death Rate for Americans Ticks Upward,” Washington Post, June 1, 2016).
Many factors are implicated in the turnaround, including a rise in deaths from firearms, drug overdoses, accidental injuries, suicides, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and stroke. In a recently released report, the CDC looked at changes in death rates per 100,000 people between 2014 and 2015, adjusting the findings to reflect an aging population as the baby boomers head into their retirement years.
Whether the uptick in the death rate is a statistical fluke is unclear. The CDC will have final numbers in December, and one year does not make a trend. But the report echoes other recent research suggesting that these days the American way of life is too often leading to an early death.