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American Lifespan Declines as Obesity and Opioid Epidemic Takes Its Toll

Story at-a-glance -

  • For the first time in two decades, life expectancy has declined in the U.S. — a consequence of obesity and rising rates of eight leading causes of death, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and opioid addiction
  • The decline in life expectancy is primarily caused by a rise in several categories of preventable deaths, highlighting the failure of the American health care system to properly address the root causes of chronic disease
  • Half of Americans are living with chronic illness, and the cost of health care now accounts for 17 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product

By Dr. Mercola

For the first time in two decades, life expectancy has declined in the U.S. Obesity appears to have a major role along with the rising rates of eight leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia, the latter of which rose by 15.7 percent rise between 2014 and 2015.


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