US Life Expectancy Declines

Grim Reaper

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) last week found that overall life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for three consecutive years, driven down by suicides, drug overdoses, organ-system diseases, and other causes that have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults.

Other wealthy nations, meanwhile, continue to experience continued progress in extending longevity. The report notes that the U.S. has the worst midlife mortality rate among 17 high-income countries, despite leading the world in per-capita spending on health care. 

The study's authors suggest that the nation's lifespan reversal is being driven by diseases linked to social and economic privation, a healthcare system with glaring gaps and blind spots, and profound psychological distress.