Opioid crisis impacting U.S. death rates

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The opioid crisis is impacting death rates in the United States.

Life expectancy dropped between 2016 and 2017, and the mortality rate rose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the reason is an increase in suicides and drug overdoses. There were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017 – a new high.

The suicide rate increased as well, by 3.7 percent.

The increasing death rate doesn’t hold among all race and gender groups. Black men, Hispanic men and Hispanic women saw no significant changes in their death rates year over year. Black women are actually living a bit longer.

Death rates for both white men and white women increased by 0.6 percent for men and 0.9 percent for women.

The CDC says a person born in the U.S. in 2017 can expect to live 78.6 years, which is a decrease of 0.1 percent from 2016.

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