There’s bad news hidden among the good, as death rates in the U.S. dropped yet now halted in their decline, after 44 years of studying the health of the American population.
- The ACS analyzed data of death rates between 1969 to 2013
- The death rates have dropped 77% for stroke, 68% heart problems, 40% unintended injuries, 18% cancer, and 17% diabetes
- Overall, death rates dropped 43% within the last 44 years
- The declined slowed between 2000 to 2013 for obesity-related conditions
Researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS) analyzed decades worth of data to determine the longevity and, subsequently, death rates of American citizens between 1969 and 2013. The numbers were drawn by the number of deaths per 100,000 people. They found that for a good amount of years, the population’s health was improving.
From 1969 to 2000, there was a definite and clear percentage of death rates dropping each year for all causes. However, those numbers have recently flattened between 2000 and 2013. According to researchers, this may have been hinged upon the error of their study of analyzing just death rates and conditions. By looking at the health of the population, the statistics might’ve different.
The researchers attempted to understand this sudden stall. Within just four years, the numbers have slowed down to 0.4% decrease in death rate annually. It’s considered to be an insignificant percentage, which means that the situation has stopped improving. One theory places the potential blame on obesity and its delayed effects.
Since the 1980s, it has been a condition on the rise among Americans. It can lead to several events that would ultimately be fatal, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. All of them are leading causes of death in the United States. And all of them have unfortunately flattened, and no longer declining.
According to Dr. Ahmedin Jemal from ACS, they expected the numbers to continue dropping. For a long time, they did. Lifespans have improved significantly since the 1960s, dropped during the 1990s due to the HIV epidemic, then increased again in 2000s. However, obesity has taken over, and its delayed effect that wasn’t taken into consideration is rearing its ugly head.
Between 1969 and 2013, the death rates have declined, with 77% for stroke, 68% for heart problems, 40% for unintended injuries, 18% for cancer, and 17% for diabetes. While that is certainly good news, the numbers for certain obesity-related conditions (heart issues, stroke, and diabetes) have stopped dropping.
Furthermore, the sixth leading cause of death, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reportedly doubled in death rates. Meaning that death rates have declined for 5 out of 6 death rates in the last 44 years, but 3 out of those 5 have officially slowed. With such a worrying percentage, it might mean that an uplift in their numbers is just around the corner.
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