Life Expectancy Rises For Men, Not Women

The life expectancy rates for Americans widened slightly for another year, according to 2003 numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics' annual mortality report. Declines in death rates for many diseases have pushed the average American's lifespan to 77.6 years.

Some experts believe the active life expectancy for Americans has lengthened too, an implication some may be starting to understand how keeping their minds and bodies active and maintaining a positive attitude can do wonders for their health.

Looking at the bigger picture by the numbers, however, isn't so rosy.

  • The difference in lifespans between American women and men has declined slightly. Women still outlive men by 5.3 years, but that's a far cry from a quarter-century ago when that gap was 7.8 years.
  • The longer lives of baby boomers and lower birth rates have triggered worries over a looming financial crisis in this country, sparking recent debates on Social Security reform.
  • The rate of infant mortality dropped very slightly from an all-time record 7 to 6.9 in 2003.
  • Life expectancy rates in America still trail other nations, according to recent numbers reported by the World Health Organization, including Japan (81.9 years), Australia (80.4) and Iceland (80.1).

Even worse, the U.S. mortality rate for diseases such as Alzheimer's (5.9), hypertension (5.7), Parkinson's (3.4) and kidney disease (2.1) has risen too. In fact, Parkinson's displaced murder as one of the top 15 causes of death in this country.

Fact is, most of these devastating health issues that affect our lives and financial futures could be remedied by taking some preventative measures immediately to optimize your health, using the free resources I provide on my Web site. For instance, I encourage you to check out my recent checklist for "blowing away" Alzheimer's disease effectively and inexpensively.

USA Today March 1, 2005

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