Life expectancy in the United States has dropped again following last year’s decline, which marked the first downturn in more than two decades. On average, Americans can now expect to live 78.6 years, a statistically significant drop of 0.1 year, according to a report on 2016 data published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. Women can now expect to live a full five years longer than men: 81.1 years vs. 76.1 years. The last time the agency recorded a multiyear drop was in 1962 and 1963. “I still don’t think you can call it a trend,

because you really need more than two data points to call something a trend,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But it’s certainly concerning to see this two years in a row.” Anderson said he is particularly concerned about drug overdose deaths, most of which are opioid-related. “We have data for almost half of 2017 at this point. It’s still quite provisional, but it suggests that we’re in for another increase” in drug-related deaths, he said. READ MORE