Life expectancy of Americans down for first time in 22 years

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – People aren’t living as long for the first time in 22 years. On average, Americans can now expect to live 78.8 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s a drop by 0.1 years, which doesn’t sound like much, but may foreshadow a larger dip to come.

Jenny Chciuk in Northampton believes “[It’s] an increase of stress, changes in lifestyle especially for people who sit all day long, and I think that’s the biggest cause of all of it.”

Out of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., the rates of 8 of them have gone up  from stroke, to diabetes, to suicide. Infant mortality rates nationally have also gone up, while in Massachusetts, opiate deaths continue to rise. With more than 1,000 deaths confirmed so far, we’re already on track to beat last year’s count at more than 1,500.

The way you live immensely contributes to how long you live, and many Hampshire County residents 22News spoke with say that the one thing people can start focusing on to help increase their life expectancy is to reduce their stress.

“I think we’re getting too wrapped up in our jobs,” says Pat Corcoran. “I think we’re not spending enough time with people we love doing things that are fun and relaxing.”

Jason LaRose of Shelburne Falls told 22News, “We need to complete more with shorter deadlines because of the advancement in technology. Believe me, technology is a wonderful thing, but you’ve gotta know when to just turn it off.”

The CDC recommends eating right, exercising regularly, and not smoking in order to live longer and avoid these diseases. Women can still expect to live longer than men, at 81 years-old versus 76 years-old.

Heart disease and cancer are still the top killers for men and women.

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