Mortality in the United States, 2015

December 8, 2016

Questions for Jiaquan Xu, Epidemiologist and Lead Author on “Mortality in the United States, 2015.”

Q: Is it true that death rates in the U.S. have been increasing over the past few years?

JX: Not exactly. The age-adjusted death rate for total US population increased 1.2% from 724.6 per 100,000 standard population in 2014 to 733.1 in 2015. This was the first significant increase since 1999. We have seen the decrease in mortality for most race/ethnic groups in most of years since 2006. Especially the rates decreased significantly for all male, all female, non-Hispanic white male, non-Hispanic white female, non-Hispanic black male, non-Hispanic black female, Hispanic male, and Hispanic female in 2014 from 2013.


Q: What are some of the reasons why the death rate increased between 2014 and 2015?

JX: We don’t know exactly what caused the increase in mortality in the United States from 2014 to 2015. The results have shown that the age-adjusted death rates increased for 8 (heart disease, chronic lower respiratory, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide) of the 10 leading causes of death. Only decrease in mortality among 10 leading causes of death in 2015 from 2014 was for cancer. Death rates increased significantly for 20 states and decreased for 1. The change for the rest of states were not significant.


Q: Do your findings for 2015 suggest we have reached a peak as far as increases in life expectancy goes?

JX: We don’t think we have reached a peak in life expectancy. Many people died of non-age-related causes because they have aged. Those deaths are preventable. For example, there are 146,571 deaths caused by accidents which accounted for 5.4% of total deaths in 2015. About 65% of deaths from these unintentional injuries were those aged under 65. Among accidental deaths, unintentional poisoning accounted for 32.4 % and motor vehicle traffic accidents accounted for 24.5%. We also don’t know if the increase in mortality in 2015 will continue in 2016. But preliminary data have shown that the mortality for most of the 10 leading causes of death in 2015 went down in second quarter from first quarter, 2016 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsrr/mortality-dashboard.htm#trends). But it is too early to say that the mortality in 2016 will go down or continue going up. We will see what happens when the 2016 final file is available.


Q: What accounts for the decline in life expectancy at birth in 2015 from 2014?

JX: For the total US population, life expectancy decreased 0.1 year from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015, mainly because of increases in mortality from the 13 causes of death among the 15 leading causes of death, such as heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, septicemia, , chronic liver disease, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids. From 2014 to 2015, life expectancy decreased 0.1 year for females largely because of increases in mortality from 12 of 15 leading causes of death such as heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, unintentional injuries, influenza and pneumonia, septicemia, hypertension, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, suicide, and pneumonitis due solids and liquids. The deaths from those 12 leading causes of death accounted for 52.9% of total female deaths.

Life expectancy declined 0.2 year for males largely because of increases in mortality from 11 of 15 leading causes of death such as unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic liver disease, septicemia, Parkinson’s disease, Homicide, and hypertension. And about 65% of accidental deaths were under 65 years old, while 81% of suicides were aged 15-64, and 95% of homicides were under 65 years. More young people dying from preventable causes drags life expectancy down.


Q: Is it unusual that mortality rates for so many leading causes of death increased in 2015?

JX: We haven’t seen the increase in mortality from so many leading causes of death for a long time. The age-adjusted death rates increased significantly for 3 of 10 leading causes of death in 2014, 2 in 2013, 1 in 2012, and 5 in 2011. It is an unusual year. Again we don’t know why.


Q: Does the increase in mortality among white females suggest another drop in life expectancy for that group?

JX: We don’t have life expectancy numbers for white females yet. It is possible that the life expectancy numbers in 2015 for white women will drop again in 2015 since the life expectancy decreased 0.1 year for all females in 2015 from 2014 and mortality from 12 of 15 leading causes of death for white females increased significantly in 2015 from 2014 (heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, unintentional injuries, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, hypertension, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, suicide, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids).

 


The Effect of Changes in Selected Age-specific Causes of Death on Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy Between 2000 and 2014

June 3, 2016

Between 2000 and 2014, life expectancy at birth in the United States increased by 2 years. The non-Hispanic black population experienced the greatest gain, followed by the Hispanic population.

The non-Hispanic white population experienced the smallest gain. Changes in life expectancy over time are directly affected by increases and decreases in age-specific death rates and age-specific cause of death rates.

NCHS released a report this week describing the relationship between increases in all-cause age-specific and cause-specific death rates and the change in life expectancy for the non-Hispanic white population between 2000 and 2014 is explored.

Findings:

  • Between 2000 and 2014, life expectancy increased by 3.6, 2.6, and 1.4 years, respectively, for non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white persons.
  • The 1.4-year increase in life expectancy for non-Hispanic white persons would have been greater if not for increases in death rates due to unintentional injuries, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic liver disease, and hypertension.
  • Increases in death rates due to unintentional injuries, suicide, and chronic liver disease were large enough to increase all-cause non-Hispanic white death rates for ages 25–34, 35–44, and 45–54.
  • Increases in death rates due to unintentional poisonings for ages 25–34, 35–44, and 45–54 had the greatest impact on the change in life expectancy for non-Hispanic white persons.

Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

April 21, 2016

A new NCHS report presents changes in life expectancy by race, Hispanic origin, and sex in the United States between 2013 and 2014.

Life expectancy was estimated using complete period life tables that are based on death rates adjusted for race and Hispanic origin misclassification on death certificates.

Life expectancy represents the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year.

Findings:

  • Between 2013 and 2014, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population (78.8 years), males (76.4), or females (81.2) did not change.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.4 years for non-Hispanic black males and by 0.1 years for Hispanic males. It remained unchanged for non-Hispanic white males.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years for Hispanic females, remained unchanged for non-Hispanic black females, and declined by 0.1 years for non-Hispanic white females.
  • Hispanic males experienced the greatest increase in life expectancy at age 65 (0.3 years), followed by Hispanic females (0.2), and all other groups experienced a 0.1 year increase in life expectancy at age 65.

Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013

November 6, 2015

The trend in U.S. life expectancy since 1900 has been one of gradual improvement. Nevertheless, differences in life expectancy by race have persisted at least since official estimates were recorded.

In 1999, the difference in life expectancy between the white and black populations was 5.9 years. The gap decreased to 3.6 years in 2013.

A new NCHS report looks at black and white population differences in causes of death to determine how they contribute to the decrease in the gap in life expectancy from 1999 through 2013.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The gap in life expectancy between the black and white populations decreased 2.3 years between 1999 and 2013 (5.9 to 3.6 years).
  • The decrease in the gap was due to larger decreases in death rates for the black population for heart disease, cancer, and HIV disease.
  • The gap in life expectancy between black and white males decreased 2.4 years between 1999 and 2013 (6.8 to 4.4 years).
  • The decrease in the gap was due to larger decreases in death rates for black males for HIV disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.
  • The gap in life expectancy between black and white females decreased 2.2 years between 1999 and 2013 (5.2 to 3.0 years).
  • The decrease in the gap was due to larger decreases in death rates for black females for heart disease, HIV disease, and cancer.

 


United States Life Tables, 2010

November 6, 2014

A new NCHS report presents complete period life tables for the United States by race, Hispanic origin, and sex, based on age-specific death rates in 2010.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2010, the overall expectation of life at birth was 78.7 years.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, life expectancy at birth increased for all groups considered.
  • Life expectancy increased for both males (from 76.0 to 76.2) and females (80.9 to 81.0) and for the white population (78.8 to 78.9), the black population (74.7 to 75.1), the Hispanic population (81.1 to 81.4), the non-Hispanic white population (78.7 to 78.8), and the non-Hispanic black population (74.4 to 74.7).

QuickStats: Life Expectancy at Birth, by Sex and Race/Ethnicity — United States, 2011

September 8, 2014

In 2011, life expectancy at birth was 78.7 years for the total U.S. population, 76.3 years for males, and 81.1 years for females. Life expectancy was highest for Hispanics for both males and females. In each racial/ethnic group, females had higher life expectancies than males. Life expectancy ranged from 71.7 years for non-Hispanic black males to 83.7 years for Hispanic females.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6335a8.htm


Racial Differences in Life Expectancy

July 22, 2013

The trend in U.S. life expectancy since 1900 has been gradually improving.  In 2010, life expectancy at birth was 78.7 years, an increase of 11% since 1970. For the white population, life expectancy increased 10%, and for the black population the increase was 17%. Nevertheless, differences in life expectancy by race have been observed and have persisted at least since official estimates have been recorded.

A new report from NCHS looks at these disparities by looking at the leading causes of death and how these causes influence life expectancy at birth. In this report, differences in the leading causes of death among black and white populations are examined to determine which causes contributed to the difference in life expectancy between the black and white populations in 2010.

Key Findings from the Report: 

  • In 2010, life expectancy for the black population was 3.8 years lower than that of the white population. This difference was due to higher death rates for the black population for heart disease, cancer, homicide, diabetes, and perinatal conditions.
  • Life expectancy for black males was 4.7 years lower than that of white males. This difference was due to higher death rates for black males for heart disease, homicide, cancer, stroke, and perinatal conditions.
  • Life expectancy for black females was 3.3 years lower than that of white females. This difference was due to higher death rates for black females for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, perinatal conditions, and stroke.