Dying Young—Falling Life Expectancy in the U.S.
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Note: A previous article focused on infant mortality; this article considers child and adolescent mortality and their contribution to falling life expectancy in the U.S.
Life expectancy in the U.S. has fallen for several years in a row, representing the “longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the tumultuous period of 1915 to 1918.” Comparing unfavorably to their counterparts in other high-income nations, Americans lead lives that are both shorter and less healthy, with a health disadvantage that “begins at birth and extends across the life course.”Increased death rates in teens and younger adults are key drivers of the recent downward trend in U.S. life expectancy. Stated another way, Americans are not just “dying at a faster rate”—they are dying younger. As a Harvard researcher has stated, “We’re seeing…
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