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Centenarian Longevity Dip: Fact or Glitch?

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The National Center for Health Statistics has published a new set of life expectancy tables.

The new U.S. Life Tables, based on 2006 final mortality statistics, replace tables released in 2005.

The new tables show the overall U.S. expectation of life at birth increased to 77.7 years, from 77.4 years in 2005.

Life expectancy increased 0.2 years for males and 0.3 years for females.

Compared with the tables published in 2004, the new tables appear to show that the life expectancy of U.S. residents ages 100 and older is declining.

The life expectancy of U.S. residents ages 100 and older appears to have fallen to 2.3 years in 2006, from 2.6 years in 2004.

The centenarian life expectancy has increased from 2.2 years in 2005, and NCHS researchers say the decrease is the result of a methodology revision applied starting with the tables 2005.

Life expectancy for U.S. residents said to be centenarians “should be interpreted with caution as these figures may be affected somewhat by age misreporting,” officials say.

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