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5 Fastest-Growing Killers

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People in the United States are dying a little earlier.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have told the story in a new batch of mortality data for 2017.

The total number of U.S. deaths increased by about 69,000 between 2016 and 2017, to 2.8 million. The number of deaths per 100,000 people increased to 731.9, from 728.8.

For a look at the five conditions that caused the biggest increase in the number of U.S. deaths between 2016 and 2017, see the data cards in the slideshow above.


The increase in the number of deaths, and the increase in the death rate per 100,000 lives, are partly due to the fact that the number of very old Americans is rising. More people are dying of old age.

Thanks to that trend, the overall life expectancy at age 65 for a U.S. resident increased to 19.5 years in 2017, from 19.4 years in 2016.

But the increase in deaths is due partly to the fact younger Americans were more likely to die in 2017 from accidents. The accidents category includes drug overdoses. Because of that trend, the overall life expectancy at birth for a U.S. resident actually fell to 78.6 years in 2017, from 78.7 the previous year.

Why This Matters to You

For life insurers, and for finance professionals who help clients with life and annuity products, figures like these frame the universe.

If customers die early than expected, life insurance results may suffer. If customers live longer than expected, the performance of annuities and life settlement operations may deteriorate.

— Read Alzheimer’s Death Rate Continues to Rise: CDCon ThinkAdvisor.

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