Life expectancy rises and death rate dips, CDC report says

Babies born in the United States in 2009 have a record life expectancy of about 78 years and 2 months. That’s the latest from preliminary figures released Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Life expectancy didn’t rise all that much from 2008 -- just two-tenths of a year for men to 75.7 years and one-tenth of a year for women to 80.6 years. The National Vital Statistics Reports also show that white women have the highest life expectancy followed by black females, white males and black males.

Death rates also fell to an all-time low of 741 deaths per 100,000, with Hawaii with the lowest and West Virginia the highest.

Even more interesting is that rates have declined in the leading causes of death:


--Heart disease, 3.7%
--Cancer, 1.1%
--Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 4.1%
--Stroke, 4.2%
--Accident, unintentional injuries, 4.1%
--Alzheimer’s disease, 4.1%
--diabetes, 4.1%
--influenza and pneumonia, 4.7%
--Septicemia, 1.8%
--Homicide, 6.8%