U.S. life expectancy continues to drop due to addiction

For the second year in a row, U.S. life expectancy has declined, and the drop is due mainly to drug and alcohol addiction.

U.S. life expectancy is now only 78.7 years, well below the average of 80.3 years in 35 other industrialized countries, according to a study published in The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.

The chief causes of the decline are drug overdoses, alcoholism, and suicide. The study found that reduced life expectancy was especially acute among white people with less education in rural, economically challenged areas.

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