The rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. rose 21% from 2015 to 2016, reaching 20 per 100,000 population, according to new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Adults aged 25 to 54 had the highest overdose death rates, at roughly 35 per 100,000. Also of note: the overdose death rate due to synthetic opioids besides methadone (e.g., fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, tramadol) doubled between 2015 and 2016, reaching 6 per 100,000.
Separately, the NCHS reports that from 2015 to 2016, the country’s life expectancy at birth fell by 0.1 years, hitting 78.6 years. This is the second year in a row with a decrease — and the first time since 1963 that the U.S. has seen two consecutive years of decline.
Males actually saw a decrease of 0.2 years (to 76.1 years), while females held steady (at 81.1). Unintentional injuries (including drug overdose) surpassed chronic lower respiratory diseases to be the third leading cause of death, and were the largest contributor to the decrease in life expectancy.