U.S. life expectancy is continuing to increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Overall U.S. life expectancy at birth rose to 78.1 years in 2006, up 0.3 years from the 2005 average, according to CDC researchers.
Experts are attributing the increase to improvements in safety measures and in medical technology, and in efforts by Americans to take better care of themselves.
“Baby boomers are concerned about their future,” says Jack Luff, an actuary at the Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Ill. “They are used to having a good lifestyle and are looking to continue that lifestyle into retirement.”
Prevention, treatment and cures for sicknesses such as high blood pressure and certain types of cancer also have added to the average life expectancy, says Steve Schreiber, an actuary at Milliman Inc., Seattle.
Age-adjusted death rates associated with 11 of the 15 leading causes of death dropped significantly between 2005 and 20006, researchers say.