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Life expectancy drops in America

Life expectancy dropped in the United States for all Americans in 2016, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

Americans can now expect to live 78.8 years on average, according to the CDC. The report stated a significant decrease in the population of 0.10 percent from last year, foreshadowing a much larger drop in the future.

Women can still expect to live a longer life than men – 81.2 years vs 76.3 years.

The top eight causes of death in America are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, strokes, alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and suicide, which accounted for 74.2 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2015, according to the CDC.

Dr. Jiaquan Xu, the report’s lead author, claims heart disease and cancer will likely always kill more people than any other illnesses.

The majority of living lung cancer patients have been diagnosed more within the last five years than in the last 20 years. Lung cancer is mostly a disease of the elderly. In 2015, 83 percent of those living with lung cancer were 60 years of age or older.

Sophomore Hira Khan lost her grandmother due to lung cancer. She said, “I’ve known her my entire life, and to have this one incurable disease take her away from me when I was only 11 years old seems so unfair. I wish there was a cure.”

In 1991, 12.3 million people died worldwide of heart disease. The number grew to 17.3 million by 2013, increasing by 40 percent according to Simon Capewell, an epidemiology professor at the University of Liverpool.

The study indicates that the increase in the past two years is mostly due to the aging of the world’s population, although population growth is another major factor. The number of deaths only declined in Western and Central Europe, the investigators on the study found.

Freshman Aashvi Shah shared her experience of almost losing a family member to heart disease: “It was definitely one of the scariest moments of my life, and now that it runs in the family, I have to make sure to keep my kids healthy when I’m older.”

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