In the most authoritative study of its kind, the government Wednesday released a report showing that longevity for Americans has reached an all-time high with life expectancy for both Blacks and whites setting new records.
The primary reason for longer lives is that death rates are declining for virtually all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer and strokes.
The latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) covers the 2000 to 2007 period. The report, using data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, shows African Americans making impressive life expectancy gains having narrowed the life expectancy gap between themselves and whites by 0.4 years.
Among Blacks and whites, white females have the longest life expectancy at birth: 80.7 years. But Black females place second with a life expectancy of 77.0 years. White males are third at 75.8 years and Black males come in last with a life expectancy of 70.2 years. But even though Black males have the lowest life expectancy, the new figures mark the first time in U.S. history that average Black male life expectancy has reached 70 years.
Despite the improvement, American still live shorter lives than the citizens of roughly 30 other countries, according to data compiled by the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO). The longest living people in the world are the Japanese with an average life expectancy of 83 years compared to America’s nearly 78 years.
The leading causes of death in America are heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), and cerebrovascular diseases (strokes). And although diseases such as AIDS get a lot of media attention, HIV/AIDS does not even rank among the top 15 causes of death in America. In fact, AIDS-related deaths have declined every year since 1995.
To view the complete CDC report visit www.cdc.gov/NCHS/
Source: Taylor Media Services