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US life expectancy declines for first time in 20 years

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Life expectancy in the United States has declined for the first time in more than two decades.

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics showed a drop for men from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 in 2015, and from 81.3 to 81.2 for women.

The figures show rises in several causes of death, especially heart disease, dementia and accidental infant deaths.

Life expectancy last fell during the peak of the HIV/Aids crisis in 1993.

It has improved slightly in most of the years since World War Two, rising from a little more than 68 years in 1950.

It also fell in 1980, after a severe outbreak of flu.

Overall life expectancy for men and women is now 78.8 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2014.

"This is unusual," lead author Jiaquan Xu, an epidemiologist at the NCHS, told AFP news agency.

"2015 is kind of different from every year," he said, "it looks like much more death than we have seen in the last few years."

The report is based mainly on 2015 death certificates.

It showed death rising death rates for heart disease - the leading cause of death, as well as chronic lower lung disease, accidental injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.

But while all of those rose by 3% or less, deaths from Alzheimer's disease rose 15.7% in a single year, and there was an 11.3% increase in the rate of death for babies under one due to unintentional injuries.

"The only good news we see in 2015 was that the cancer death rate continued to decrease," said Jiaquan Xu.

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Muslim Global: US life expectancy declines for first time in 20 years
US life expectancy declines for first time in 20 years
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Muslim Global
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