US life expectancy dropped, health experts say

by Shannon Lee
Life expectancy in the United States fell in 2008 according to a report released by the National Center for Health.
The life expectancy in 2008 dropped to 77.8 years old from 77.9 years old in 2007, or the equivalency of one month.
The decline corresponded with the first full year of the recession and health experts told MSNBC it was a cause for concern.
Although life expectancy was lower, the report also showed that serious illness such as heart disease and cancer did not kill as many people as in 2007, reported MSNBC.
The number of people who died in motor vehicle crashes also fell significantly. Christopher J. Ruhm, an economist and professor at the University of North Carolina, attributed it to the economy as well, reported MSNBC. People do not drive as often during a recession, so there are less vehicles on the road and less accidents, Ruhm said.
Arialdi Minino, a statistician who worked on the report, told the Washington Post the life expectancy drop was too small to indicate a larger trend.
"You can't tell until you have more data points," Minino said.

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