U.S. life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, a shocking trend reversal driven by the increase in drug overdose deaths, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The last time the United States saw a two-year life expectancy decline was in 1962 and 1963, thanks to influenza, according to the CDC. There was another one year drop in 1993, at the peak of the AIDS epidemic, the Washington Post noted.
In 2016, total life expectancy fell by one tenth, from 78.7 years to 78.6. Among men, it fell two tenths, from 76.3 to 76.1; among women, it remained steady at 81.1 years.
The overwhelming bulk of the decline is attributable to the rise in drug overdose deaths among Americans in 2016, data