~ CDC Finds Life Expectancy at Record High

Life Extension Update

The 26th annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on the nation's health issued by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Secretary Tommy G. Thompson revealed a remarkable increase in life expectancy over the past fifty years, with a record high in life expectancy reached by the year 2000, combined with plummeting infant mortality rates. The 430 page report examined mortality and disease trends from 1950 to the year 2000.

Of note in the report, were the following improvements that occurred over the past half century:

Death rates for children and young adults up to age 24 declined by 50 percent, and those for adults ages 25-64 declined by nearly the same rate. Mortality for adults over the age of 65 fell by one-third. The increase in life expectancy for older Americans is mainly the result of fewer heart disease and stroke fatalities.

Current life expectancy, which is 74 for men and nearly 80 years of age for women, is the highest in U.S. history. This contrasts with a life expectancy of 48 for men and 51 for women fifty years ago.

Infant mortality has dropped by 75% since 1950.

Individuals who survive to age 65 can expect to live to be 81 if they are men, and to 85 if they are female.

Infectious disease, homicide among young minority males, smoking, and death from AIDS have all declined.

Unintentional injuries among children and young and working age adults have dropped as well.

The study cites other improvements, but warns that Americans are more overweight than ever.

Americans spent $1.3 trillion on health care in 2000, much more than any other country.

Secretary Thompson stated, "When you take the long view, you see clearly how far we've come in combating diseases, making workplaces safer and avoiding risks such as smoking. As we take better care of ourselves and medical treatments continue to improve, the illnesses and behaviors that once cost us the lives of our grandparents will become even less threatening to the lives of our grandchildren."

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