Yesterday, the National Center for Health Statistics in its preliminary 2007 statistical report on deaths indicated that average life expectancy (at birth) in the US was up 73 days in 2007 from 2006, up to 77.9 years. The report indicated life expectancy rose from 75.1 to 75.3 years for men and from 80.2 to 80.4 years for women. The 5.1- year difference in male and female life expectancy was year-to-year the same though it is down from 7.8 years back in 1979.
The age-adjusted death rate in the United States continued its steady year-by-year decline and fell to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2007, about half of what it was 60 years ago.
“Mortality rates declined significantly for eight of the 15 leading causes of death, including — 8.4 percent decline from influenza and pneumonia, 6.5 percent decline from homicides, 5 percent decline from accidents, 4.7 percent from heart disease, 4.6 percent from stroke, 3.9 percent from diabetes, 2.7 percent from high blood pressure and 1.8 percent drop from cancer. — There was also a 10 percent drop in deaths from HIV and AIDS between 2006 and 2007 — the biggest one-year fall since 1998. HIV, however, remains the leading cause of death among 25 to 44 year olds(ref).”
Of relevance from an anti-aging viewpoint, the 15 leading causes of death in 2007 were reported to be:
1. Diseases of heart 615,651
2. Malignant neoplasms 560,187
3. Cerebrovascular diseases 133,990
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 129,311
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 117,075
6. Alzheimer’s disease 74,944
7. Diabetes mellitus 70,905
8. Influenza and pneumonia 52,847
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis 46,095
10. Septicemia 34,851
11. Intentional self-harm (suicide) 33,185
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 28,504
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease 23,769
14. Parkinson’s disease 20,136
15. Assault (homicide) 17,520
All other causes 465,089
In the May 2009 blog entry I argued that social evolution requires that people live longer – and is in fact leading to longer and longer life spans. “As social evolution advances at an exponentially increasing rate and society continues to become more complex, there is an ever-increasing need for people to draw on vast resources of information, deep knowledge and wisdom to survive and advance the society. The time required for basic education continues to grow and continuing education becomes a lifelong necessity. Longer life spans therefore serve the need of social evolution by increasing mobilization of knowledge and wisdom.” Increase in average life span of 73 days in the course of just one year is not doing badly at all.
Anti-aging science, the subject of this blog, is part of this broad stream of social and human evolution leading to longer and longer lives. I welcome you who are joining me in exploring the scientific frontier of this stream!