Life expectancy falls in the US as opioid epidemic bites

  • 22/12/2017
Life expectancy fell for the second year in a row. Photo credit: Getty

Life expectancy in the United States fell in 2016 as the number of deaths due to drug overdoses rose more than 21 percent.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said drug overdoses killed 63,600 people, of which 42,249 people died from opioid-related overdoses.

That marks a 28 percent increase in opioid-related deaths 2015, while the number of deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone more than doubled to 19,413.

Life expectancy fell for the second year in a row, to 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2015.

West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania had the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2016, the CDC said.

A newborn Kiwi on the other hand can expect to live 81.5 years - 83.4 for women and 79.9 for men.

Reuters / Newshub.