The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says in 2016 drug overdose deaths rose so dramatically that they affected statistics on life expectancy in the U.S.
Ken Slenkovich, Assistant Dean of the College of Public Health at Kent State University, say this isn’t the first time that a spike in deaths from a clearly identifiable national health issue skewed life expectancy numbers. He says the same thing happened with a 2015 CDC report. “It was also based on statistics and analysis by the national center for health statistics. And this was the first time in more than two decades where life expectancy for Americans declined. And they attributed it to rising death rates from things like heart disease and stroke and diabetes.”
Slenkovich says he believes it is significant and telling that in both reports the heavy death tolls driving the data can be directly linked to life style issues.