THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- From 2015 to 2016, life expectancy decreased by one-tenth of a year, and there was an increase in the rate of age-adjusted drug overdose deaths, according to two December data briefs published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Kenneth D. Kochanek, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined 2016 U.S. mortality data and considered demographic and medical characteristics. The authors note that life expectancy was 78.6 years for the U.S. population in 2016, a decrease of one-tenth of a year from 2015. There was a 0.6 percent decrease in the age-adjusted death rate, from 733.1 to 728.8 deaths per 100,000 standard population. The 10 leading causes of death remained the same in 2016 as in 2015.

Holly Hedegaard, M.D., also from the CDC, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to update trends in drug overdose deaths. The authors note that there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 21 percent higher in 2016 than in 2015 (19.8 versus 16.3 per 100,000). The highest rates of drug overdose deaths among individuals aged 15 and older in 2016 were in adults aged 25 to 34, 35 to 44, and 45 to 54 years, at around 35 per 100,000.

"The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.1 per 100,000 standard population in 1999 to 19.8 in 2016," Hedegaard and colleagues write.

Abstract/Full Text - Kochanek
Abstract/Full Text - Hedegaard