June 11, 2008
Life Expectancy At Birth Rises

Ijn the United States from 2005 to 2006 the CDC's life expectancy at birth rose .3 years.

Age-adjusted death rates in the United States dropped significantly between 2005 and 2006 and life expectancy hit another record high, according to preliminary death statistics released today by CDCís National Center for Health Statistics.

The 2006 age-adjusted death rate fell to 776.4 deaths per 100,000 population from 799 deaths per 100,000 in 2005, the CDC report said. In addition, death rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States all dropped significantly in 2006, it said. These included a very sharp drop in mortality from influenza and pneumonia.

The preliminary infant mortality rate for 2006 was 6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2005 rate of 6.9.

The drop in death from influenza and pneumonia might just represent a weak set of flu strains in 2006. I doubt it comes as a result of a big improvement in methods of treatment.

This CDC estimate of life expectancy at birth is going to turn out to be grossly in error as advances in biotechnology start to make themselves felt in terms of better treatments. Someone born today will turn 78 in 2086. Does the CDC think that in 2086 we won't have replacement organs, cures for cancer, cures for Alzheimer's Disease, and stem cell therapies? 78 is an extremely conservative estimate for life expectancy of someone born today.

  • Life expectancy at birth hit a record high in 2006 of 78.1 years, a 0.3 increase from 2005. Record high life expectancy was recorded for both white males and black males (76 years and 70 years respectively) as well as for white females and black females (81 years and 76.9 years).
  • The preliminary number of deaths in the United States in 2006 was 2,425,900, a 22,117 decrease from 2005.
  • Between 2005 and 2006, the largest decline in age-adjusted death rates occurred for influenza/pneumonia (12.8 percent). Other declines were observed for chronic lower respiratory diseases (6.5 percent), stroke (6.4 percent), heart disease (5.5 percent), diabetes (5.3 percent), hypertension (5 percent), chronic liver disease/cirrhosis (3.3 percent), suicide (2.8 percent), septicemia, also known as blood poisoning (2.7 percent), cancer (1.6 percent) and accidents (1.5 percent).
  • There were 12,045 deaths from HIV/AIDS in 2006, and age-adjusted death rates from the disease declined 4.8 percent from 2005.
  • Alzheimerís disease overtook diabetes as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States in 2006. Preliminary data indicate 72,914 Americans died of Alzheimerís disease in 2006.

The full report (PDF) has lots more details. Here are the top 15 causes of death. Number 1 caused 629,191 deaths followed by 2 at 560,102 and 3 at 137,265. Those top 3 killers account for 54.6% of all deaths. The top 15 causes account for 81.2% of all death. The only one of the top 15 causes that did not drop in incidence was number 9, kidney-related diseases.

1.Diseases of heart
2.Malignant neoplasms
3.Cerebrovascular diseases
4.Chronic lower respiratory diseases
5.Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6.Alzheimerís disease
7.Diabetes mellitus
8.Influenza and pneumonia
9.Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis
11.Intentional self-harm (suicide)
12.Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13.Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
14.Parkinsonís disease
15.Assault (homicide)

We need cures for cancer. We also need stem cell therapies for the vascular system. Plus, we need stem cell therapies for heart muscle. All those combined would stop the first 3 killers (excepting heart problems which have a neural component). Such treatments would also reduce the incidence of brain diseases by improving brain circulation.

While the list above shows what kills us. It understates the problems with brain decay. A lot of people die of cancer and heart disease while gradually sinking into dementia.

Want to have rational worries about the future? Worry that too many obstacles are slowing up the rate of progress for the development of rejuvenation therapies. Support measures to remove some of those obstacles.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 June 11 10:33 PM  Aging Trends

Brett Bellmore said at June 12, 2008 3:49 AM:

"This CDC estimate of life expectancy at birth is going to turn out to be grossly in error as advances in biotechnology start to make themselves felt in terms of better treatments."

Ask them, and they'll tell you themselves this isn't an estimate of how long on average somebody born this year would *really* live. It's just a way of expressing an overall metric for survival probabilities across all ages right now.

At least, if they wouldn't tell you that, they're being pretty silly.

adam hartung said at June 12, 2008 9:58 AM:

This has significant implications for businesses - yet most completely ignore it. If we don't start planning for longer lives we'll be overtaken by events. Read more at http://www.ThePhoenixPrinciple.com

jim moore said at June 12, 2008 10:32 AM:

Brett beat me to it; Life expectancy at birth is a statistic that summarizes the age specific mortality rates for one particular calendar year not a projection of how long someone born today will live. If you want a better idea if medicine is having a big impact on longevity look at the changes in life expectancy at age 65 or better yet look at how the slope of age specific mortality rates change over time. You want the probability of dying not to increase with age.

Aron said at June 12, 2008 10:04 PM:

Looks like my chance of dying on any given day goes up about 7% a year from here on out. Of course, nothing exponential can last forever.

- 518189

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