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Falling US life expectancy pushed by drug abuse, suicide and CVDs – Cardiovascular Enterprise

Woolf and Schoomaker also found a relative increase in other causes of death over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, mental disorders, heart disease, and traffic accidents and deaths Mayhem. Such increases were steeper in the older population (between 55 and 64 years of age), but were recorded in full line. The authors reported that a decomposition analysis of the decline in US life expectancy between 2014 and 2015 found that respiratory and CVD in women contributed almost as much to mortality as external causes, including drug overdoses. Drug overdoses in men accounted for almost the entire decline.

"Improving outcomes associated with overdose of opioids requires increased access to drug-assisted treatment, harm reduction services and increased collaboration with law enforcement agencies to improve access to naloxone and reaffirm public health and not the arrest is the most important social strategy. " Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH and colleagues wrote in a related editorial. "National efforts to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders and mental illness can encourage people to seek care, recover and rebuild their lives."

Koh and his colleagues said that increased efforts against obesity, hypertension and tobacco use are "crucial" to reverse the trend in life expectancy. Almost half of adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, and most of it is uncontrolled. This means we need better systems for team-based care, better education, and better drug compliance strategies.

"The study by Woolf and Schoomaker, which described years of cumulative insults to the nation's health, is a call to action," wrote the editors. "A broad and dedicated collaboration with non-health sectors to tackle US health inequities could restore the well-being of millions. Otherwise, the nation risks losing life expectancy in the coming years to become a troubling new norm. "

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