The greater the number of healthy habits we adopt, the longer we’re likely to live free of major chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, the study also found.
Since the 1980s, U.S. life expectancy has been losing pace with other developed countries, and is now decreasing — even though U.S. spending on health care “vastly” exceeds that of other wealthy nations, the study points out.
The latest drop in life expectancy may not seem that big, but it points to a deeply worrisome trend.
Americans will be living longer by 2040, but that improvement in lifespan will not be as great as that of many other countries around the world.
The decline was driven in large part because increasing numbers of Americans are dying from drug overdoses, suicides and chronic liver disease.
Most high-income countries experienced a drop in life expectancy in 2015, but only the United States and the United Kingdom saw that troubling trend continue into 2016.
Adhering to all five habits prolonged life expectancy at age 50 by an average of 14 years for women and by an average of 12.2 years for men, the study found.
The study also found links between alcohol consumption and specific types of cardiovascular disease, specifically heart failure, stroke, fatal aortic aneurysms and fatal hypertensive disease.
Minnesota’s life expectancy (80.8 years) is the fourth highest in the nation, As for healthy life expectancy, Minnesota ranks No. 1, with 70.3 years.
“There are differences by race/ethnicity in length and quality of life that are masked when we only look at differences by place,” the authors of the report note.
The state’s major health “challenges” are a high prevalence of excessive alcohol drinking, a high incidence of whooping cough (pertussis) and low per capita public health funding.
Average life expectancy in the United States was 78.9 years in 2016 — only the 58th highest life expectancy in the world. That’s our lowest ranking since 1970.
Oglala Dakota County in southwestern South Dakota, which includes the Pine Ridge Reservation, had the lowest life expectancy in the country in 2014 at 66.8 years.
The drop in life expectancy in 2015 could be a one-time “fluke.” Let’s hope so.