How Long Can We Expect to Live? U.S. Life Expectancy Hits Record High

Healthier choices critical in this trend

Life expectancy was 81.2 years for females and 76.4 for males. HealthHub number from Cleveland Clinic

Life expectancy at birth reached an all-time record high of 78.8 years in 2012, according to data recently released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

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Researchers noted a significant reduction in mortality from 8 of 10 leading causes of death from 2011 to 2012. These include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke.

Healthier lifestyles, choices important

“People are choosing healthier lifestyles. They are living longer as we do a better job preventing and properly managing chronic diseases,” says Daniel Neides, MD, MBA, Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

According to the data, women are still living longer than men. Broken down by gender, life expectancy was 81.2 years for females and 76.4 for males.

Every racial group, with the exception of Hispanics, showed a decline in deaths, according to the report. Black women, in particular, had the largest drop in death rates, down 2.3 percent.

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It was also reported that the infant mortality rate reached a record low, at 597.8 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. It decreased 1.5 percent from 2011-2012.

Smoking, portion sizes, and physical activity

Even though these numbers show a positive trend, experts say there is still work to do.

“As a medical profession, we must be vigilant in helping to eliminate tobacco dependence, educating patients on correct portion sizes, increasing daily exercise, and adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle,” Dr. Neides says.

If you smoke, it’s worth it to put in the hard work to quit because it affects so many other aspects of your health. Talk to your doctor about ways to help you succeed.

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Eating more moderately and increasing exercise will have you feeling your best. It will also help keep away obesity and the related health issues that can follow.

Life expectancy was 81.2 years for females and 76.4 for males. HealthHub number from Cleveland Clinic


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