Kentucky ranks fifth in the nation for 2017 overdose deaths — CDC

Henrietta Brewer
December 2, 2018

Final longevity numbers for 2014 through 2016 were published September 20 in Health, United States, 2017, an annual report produced by the NCHS. That decline took place during World War I and a sweeping flu epidemic - and before dozens of medical advances. "Life expectancy is improving in many places in the world". Life expectancy for females has consistently been higher than males and the gap continues to widen.

Over the past decade, suicide has ranked as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, a third new final government report reveals.

"I always tell people one year is interesting, two years is more interesting, and three years is a trend", Benjamin said. "Or can we say this is a tractable problem?" The life expectancy in New Jersey is slightly higher than the national average, at 80.9 years.

The average life expectancy in the United States declined from 78.7 to 78.6 years. Fentanyl is an opioid 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Suicide-related deaths, meanwhile, also showed an alarming increase of 3.7 percent.

The rate in drug overdoses has skyrocketed in the same period.

Deaths from legal painkillers did not increase in 2017.

The trends in overdose deaths vary widely across the country. That number dropped sharply between 2013, when the Affordable Care Act kicked in, and 2016.


United States women continue to outlive men, and the death rate did decrease among 45- to 54-year-olds.

"The latest CDC data show that the US life expectancy has declined over the past few years", said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. Those measures include prescription drug monitoring programs that help prevent substance abusers from obtaining multiple prescriptions by "doctor shopping". "While efforts are being made to reduce the suicide rate, something isn't working". People can unknowing consume fentanyl when this drug contaminates other illegal substances; and small amounts of fentanyl can be fatal, Mooney said.

The number of resident deaths recorded in the nation totaled more than 2.8 million in 2017, about 69,000 more than in 2016, a second government report shows.

Though deaths from overdoses of all types of opioids have increased since 1999, the change in mortality induced by synthetic opioids other than methadone, meaning products like fentanyl, has had the most alarming upswing.

The geographic disparity in overdose deaths continued in 2017. There are now 14 suicides per 100,000 people, up from 10.5 in 1999.

The percentage of suicides due to drug overdose has been inching downward.

The top 10 leading causes of death - including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and suicide - were the same as in 2016, accounting for the majority of deaths.


Public health experts are alarmed by the new statistics released by the CDC.

"We're a developed country, we have a lot of resources, we should have increasing life expectancy, not decreasing life expectancy", he added.

The nation is in the longest period of a generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910s, when World War I and the worst flu pandemic in modern history combined to kill almost 1 million Americans. Any revision for 2017's estimate of 78.6 years will come next year.

America will have to curtail its escalating suicide rate if it ever hopes of becoming truly great again.

Financial struggles, a widening income gap and divisive politics are all casting a pall over many Americans, he suggested. More remote areas have seen rates nearly twice as high as in urban areas. In 1999, the death rate was just 6.1 per 100,000. "Having easily available lethal means is a big risk factor for suicide".

Here's to hoping that we can pause these upward trends by dedicating more funding to mental health research as well as community, state, and federal outreach and treatment services.


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