August 19, 2009
US Life Expectancy Up To 77.9 Years

75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women.

U.S. life expectancy reached nearly 78 years (77.9), and the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, both records, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007,” was issued today by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The data are based on nearly 90 percent of death certificates in the United States.

The 2007 increase in life expectancy – up from 77.7 in 2006 -- represents a continuation of a trend. Over a decade, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007.

We are making gains against some of the big diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Between 2006 and 2007, mortality rates declined significantly for eight of the 15 leading causes of death. Declines were observed for influenza and pneumonia (8.4 percent), homicide (6.5 percent), accidents (5 percent), heart disease (4.7 percent), stroke (4.6 percent), diabetes (3.9 percent), hypertension (2.7 percent), and cancer (1.8 percent).

If you want to cut your own risks read my archives Aging Diet Cancer Studies and Aging Diet Heart Studies. A lot of the dietary factors heart disease risk reduction also slow brain aging. But you can also read Aging Diet Brain Studies for more ideas.

Conventional drugs and diet can only take us so far. What we need for bigger steps toward longer lives: Rejuvenation therapies. We need stem cells, gene therapies, immune therapies that remove accumulated junk, and nanodevices that do repairs. When do these therapies start hitting clinics and hospitals in substantial numbers? Hard to say. But experiments on animals with some of these therapies make me think most of us will live to see these therapies hit the mainstream.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 August 19 10:49 PM  Aging Trends

Mthson said at August 19, 2009 11:20 PM:

We should be constantly advocating increased science funding. The zero-sum-game, us vs. them culture wars that take up huge share of the marketplace of ideas seem so short-term focused in the big picture.

David Govett said at August 20, 2009 12:04 AM:

Instead of throwing away thousands of billions of U.S. taxpayer money on various failed companies, the government should invest a few tens of billions in an upgraded Internet, which would catalyze learning and research throughout America. That would provide the largest return for the money and would accelerate anti-aging research.

TTT said at August 20, 2009 10:15 AM:

Rejuventation therapies won't happen. What will happen is that technologies will extend life until about 110 or so, and that is it.

There are hard stops. Of all the people who reach 100, only 1 out of 1000 of those reach 110. And only 1 out of 1000 of those reach 120. So if you cross 100, your chance of hitting 120 is 1 in a million. There clearly are steep falloffs that nature enforces.

Tim said at August 20, 2009 12:29 PM:

TTT: What is the basis for your pessimism about rejuvenation therapies? Do you think stem cell therapies, SENS(,etc all will fail for some unstated reason? The stats you give might be valid with current technology, but how can you predict the effect of technological breakthroughs?

shimshon said at August 20, 2009 2:48 PM:

David Govett,

What exactly would you upgrade about the Internet? Bandwidth? It's there where research is concerned. I2 is operational between all major research institutions? Standards? There are NGO type bodies that do this relatively well. Semantic Web? It coming along at a pretty accelerated and may I ad natural growth. I really don't see more govt intervention in this area as a benefit. Billions of dollars are better spent on things like merit based scholarships, corporate price matching and competitions, nuclear fusion and yeah the space elevator too.

TTT said at August 20, 2009 3:42 PM:


The main basis is that once the easy gains are taken, each successive addition to life becomes exponentially harder.

Even if you cross 100, your chances of living to 110 are 1 in 1000. Even if you cross 110, you chances of living to 120 are again 1 in 1000.

There is a pretty clear wall, that cuts off the lifespan distribution pretty fast, which means that pushing past those limits will be far harder than, say, increasing the life expectancy from 77 to 83.

We will get to about 100 and then halt. Not bad, but not the immortality that some people are desperately hoping for.

TTT said at August 20, 2009 3:44 PM:

the government should invest a few tens of billions in an upgraded Internet,

Obama has spend $41 Billion on his broadband initiative, as part of the stimulus package.

By now, you should have learned the #1 rule in America : That Obama is always right, and that everything he does is always the best possible solution.

Mthson said at August 20, 2009 4:13 PM:

"We will get to about 100 and then halt."

Please don't put any money down on that bet. We really don't have to worry any time soon about science figuring out 'everything there is to know' and halting for all eternity.

Being able to re-grow any tissue in the body will probably help. I'd rather have my brain re-grown and re-trained one segment at a time and lose some of my identity than be faced with total mission failure (death).

Xenophon Hendrix said at August 20, 2009 4:46 PM:

It there anything inherently absurd about replacing aged body parts with youthful cloned parts that are exact tissue matches? Shouldn't that technology, once it arrives, drastically increase maximum lifespan? Is there anything inherently absurd about replacing aged stem cells with youthful cloned stem cells that are exact tissue matches? Again, shouldn't that technology, once it arrives, drastically increase maximum lifespan? I think we have barely scratched the surface of possible biological interventions.

Michael G.R. said at August 20, 2009 5:52 PM:

TTT, I suggest you familiarize yourself with SENS. A good start is to google "TED aubrey de grey" and watch that quick intro. Then if you want to dig deeper in the biological details, get Ending Aging by Aubrey de Grey ( has it).

Randall Parker said at August 20, 2009 7:12 PM:

David Govett,

The problem with the internet isn't its speed. The problem is content. Look at the people who already have connections measured in megabits per second. Can they watch the best calculus lecturers of 10 universities? Or the best physics lecturers? For far less than tens of billions of dollars (probably for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) we could have sites on the web where you can take free practice tests on basic physics.

We need:

- downloadable lectures.
- practice tests.
- some interactive software that simulates lab experiments on basic physical principles.

Then we need sites where you can test yourself on various subjects and get college credit for passing tests. My guess is that University of Phoenix already offers some of what I'm suggesting.

Randall Parker said at August 20, 2009 7:25 PM:


Do you think growth of replacement organs will happen or not?

Do you think gene therapies and stem cell therapies will ever bulk up shriveled muscle or not?

What do you think will or won't happen?

I'm really only worried about one rejuvenation problem: the brain. Even there I think we'll at least enjoy partial successes with cell therapies for vascular cells and for glial support cells.

MEC2 said at August 20, 2009 9:02 PM:

Clearly this increase in life expectancy has to be stopped. And Obama has risen to the challenge - nothing like getting the government involved in our health care to get spiraling life expectancy rates under control.

P.S. Long life tip - olive oil and grapes. Trust.

Randall Parker said at August 20, 2009 9:44 PM:


Lately I've been eating dark grapes for breakfast. I've got pounds of dark grapes in my fridge and take them to work to eat as breakfast. Works for me.

Nick G said at August 21, 2009 3:07 PM:

Can they watch the best calculus lecturers of 10 universities?

Have you looked at MIT's online materials? I believe they're giving away what you're thinking of.

Randall Parker said at August 22, 2009 9:36 AM:

Nick G,

Look closely at what MIT provides. Few courses have video lectures. Those that do seem to only have a couple of sample lectures. See here and check out the icons at the top for which icon is for videos. If you can find a course with full videos let me know. So far I haven't found one.

averros said at August 23, 2009 1:18 AM:

Who cares about video lectures? You can always get a book and read it. It's not like university lectures have any original material in them - and books are generally better organized (and you can leaf back and forth easily - try that with a video lecture).

The problem is that not that many people are capable of comprehending these lectures and textbooks - thanks to the socialized primary "education" which nearly always succeeds in destoying capacity for rational thought in children it manages to get its paws on.

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