The death rate in the United States is up for the first time in many years.The death rate is the number of deaths per 100,000 people, and it has generally improved in the U.S. for the past quarter of a century. A bad flu epidemic caused an increase in 2005 and AIDS bumped it up in 1993, but it’s unusual for the death rate for the whole country to increase. Usually, we can expect to live longer than people did in times past.
At this point, a child born in 2014 can expect to live one year longer than a child born in 2015.
Why are we seeing an increase in the death rate?
There were increases in deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, car crashes, drug overdoses, and gun-related homicide and suicide.
But death from heart disease is also up. Deaths from heart disease have been dropping for some time, and those improvements may have made up for rising rates in other areas. Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the United States, so improvements in that number can make a big difference.
Equally, increases in deaths from heart disease can make a big difference. The increases in heart disease are small so far, but it’s worrying to see the improvements stop.
Why is heart disease increasing?
Researchers point to increases in obesity and diabetes. Over the past thirty years, Americans have gotten steadily fatter.
Increasing exercise and decreasing junk food could make a difference.