Life Expectancy Falls, Heart Disease to Blame
After 40 years of improvements against the country's leading cause of death—cardiovascular disease—death rates from heart disease and stroke in the U.S. increased 0.9 percent and three percent respectively in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, life expectancy dropped one-tenth of one percentage point to 78.8 years.
Although cardiovascular disease has been the number one cause of death in the U.S. for more than 100 years, death rates from heart disease have declined about 70 percent since 1969. According to the CDC, the recent increase in deaths related to cardiovascular disease is associated with rising rates of obesity and diabetes.
Several studies have shown that the overall decline in heart-related deaths began to slow in 2011. At that time, cancer was expected to overtake cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S.
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