Americans are dying at a younger age for the first time in decades, and scientists are concerned. In the last year, life expectancy in the United States has decreased by 0.1 years – a small but significant number that amounts to nearly 100,000 more deaths in 2015 than in the year before.
Researchers are not sure what has lead to the decrease. The last time life expectancies declined was in 1993, at the height of the AIDs and HIV epidemic. This time, though, the cause of the decline is a little less clear. The death rates associated with several diseases, including heart disease, are up, as are Alzheimer’s- and suicide-related deaths, according to the New York Times. But cancer deaths were actually down – great news in the midst of otherwise negative data.
Without a clear cause, it’s hard for medical professionals to know what to do from here. What does this mean for healthcare, and what does this mean for you?
First, researchers still have a lot of unanswered questions. While the data is cause for concern it is only a single year’s report. While they work to address the big questions, the impact for individual Americans may not be so significant. What is true is that many of the leading causes of death, such as heart and kidney disease and diabetes, are often preventable.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of many diseases. If you’re trying to ward off disease and potentially increase your longevity, talk to your doctor about changes you can make to improve your overall health and well-being.
According to the report, Americans can expect to live an average of 78.8 years. As in previous years, women average longer life spans than men do. But whatever your age, do not let this information deter you from living a full life and planning for the future.
When you’re thinking about the journey to come, remember that Life Care Funding can help you answer all the tricky questions about your life-long healthcare needs, including long-term care. Reach out to the Life Care Funding team with your questions today!