As the United States continues to face a devastating opioid epidemic, new data released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals the toll it has taken helped push down life expectancy in the country in yet another consecutive year.
In addition to drug-overdose deaths, a spike in suicides contributed to the grim trend in 2017, the year for which the data were collected.
The third consecutive annual dip is the longest such trend since 1915-1918, when the country braved World War I and a flu pandemic.
“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health, and these sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” CDC director Robert Redfield said of the report.
The US is the only country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with a declining life expectancy or rising suicide rate.
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) November 29, 2018