CDC notes that U.S. life expectancy falls slightly

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that a baby born in 2008 can expect to live 77.8 years, which is down a bit from a high of 77.9 years for 2007.

The study examined data from death records comprising more than 99 percent of the demographic and medical files for all deaths in the United States in 2008.

Other key findings:

  • Life expectancy for women dropped by a 10th of a year to 80.3 years;
  • Life expectancy for men also lost the same to 75.3 years;
  • Life expectancy for whites declined 0.2 years;
  • Although black men live an average of eight years less than white men, they reached a record high of 70.2 years.

The authors state that the change is minuscule and said it would take years of data to determine if it was a trend. The cause for the decline is unknown.  Heart disease and cancer remain the two top causes of death, followed by respiratory disease and stroke.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov, December, 2010; Reuters, http://www.reuters.com, December 9, 2010; The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com, December 9, 2010)