Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2001

Life expectancy sets new record

October 11, 2001

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— Life expectancy in the United States has climbed to an all-time high of nearly 77 years, while infant mortality has dropped to the lowest level on record, the government reported Wednesday.

A government study of death certificates nationwide put U.S. life expectancy at 76.9 years for someone born in 2000, up from 76.7 in 1999, the National Center for Health Statistics said. Infant mortality dropped last year to 6.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Death rates also fell for the nation's leading killers, including heart disease, cancer and stroke.

To figure life expectancy, statisticians considered a hypothetical group of people born in 2000, then projected how long they would live based on today's health risks and demographics. The number does not take into account medical breakthroughs that might happen years from now to extend those lives even further.

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