CDC publishes life expectancy data

The CDC tells us how long we can expect to live.

Of course, we Ray Kurzweil fans know we're going to live a lot longer, because the Singularity is near, and great Vulcan mind-meld with infinite cosmic intelligence is coming, humans and machines will be one, and nanobots will be adjusting everything our bodies need to blast off into the next millenium.

But based on historical data, the CDC has let us know we're already creeping up a bit. In 2004, the CDC told us:

Objectives--This report presents preliminary U.S. data on deaths, death rates, life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality for the year 2004 by selected characteristics such as age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin.

Methods--Data in this report are based on a large number of deaths comprising approximately 91 percent of the demographic file and 90 percent of the medical file for all deaths in the United States in 2004. The records are weighted to independent control counts for 2004. For certain causes of death such as unintentional injuries, homicides, suicides, and respiratory diseases, preliminary and final data differ because of the truncated nature of the preliminary file. Comparisons are made with 2003 final data.

Results--The age-adjusted death rate for the United States decreased from 832.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2003 to 801.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2004. Age-adjusted death rates decreased between 2003 and 2004 for the following major causes of death: Diseases of heart, Malignant neoplasms, Cerebrovascular diseases,
Chronic lower respiratory diseases, Accidents (unintentional injuries), Diabetes mellitus, Influenza and pneumonia, Septicemia, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids. Rates increased between 2003 and 2004 for the following: Alzheimer's disease and Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease. Life expectancy at birth rose by 0.4 year to a record high of 77.9 years.

Now, in CDC: "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2006," we get the following data:

U.S. life expectancy has hit a new record: 78.1 years for babies born in 2006. The death rate for 11 of the top 15 causes of death -- including heart disease, cancer, and stroke -- slowed in 2006.

Life expectancy in 2006 is about four months longer than it was in 2005, according to the CDC.

White women continue to have the longest life expectancy, followed by African-American women, white men, and African-American men. Those patterns have held since 1976, though all groups have seen their life expectancy improve during that time.

Here are the top causes of death for 2006 in the U.S., and the change in their age-adjusted death rate since 2005:

Heart disease: down 5.5%
Cancer: down 1.6%
Stroke: down 6.4%
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (lung diseases): down 6.5%
Accidents: down 1.5%
Alzheimer's disease: down 0.9%
Diabetes: down 5.3%
Influenza and pneumonia: down 12.8% due to a relatively mild flu season
Kidney disease: unchanged
Septicemia (an infection that affects the blood and other parts of the body): down 2.7%
Suicide: down 2.8%
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: down 3.3%
High blood pressure: down 5%
Parkinson's disease: down 1.6%
Homicide: down 1.6%

The decreases in the death rate for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and homicide may have been due to chance, and the kidney disease death rate held steady, so that leaves the CDC confident that 11 of the 15 leading causes of death had lower death rates in 2006 than in 2005.

Among states, Hawaii had the lowest age-adjusted death rate and Mississippi had the highest death rate in 2006, according to the CDC.

But if you fold U.S. territories into that ranking, Guam edged out Hawaii, and American Samoa ranked lower than Mississippi.

Here's how the states and territories ranked in their age-adjusted death rates, starting with the lowest rate:

Guam
Hawaii
Virgin Islands
Minnesota
California
New York
Utah
Florida
Connecticut:
Colorado:
Massachusetts
Vermont:
Washington
Arizona
New Hampshire
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Iowa
Nebraska
New Jersey
South Dakota
Wisconsin
Rhode Island
Idaho
New Mexico
Alaska
Oregon
Maine
Virginia
Illinois
Montana
Delaware
Texas
Maryland
Kansas
Pennsylvania
Michigan
Wyoming
Nevada
Ohio
North Carolina
Indiana
Missouri
Georgia
South Carolina
Arkansas
Washington, D.C.
Tennessee
Kentucky
Oklahoma
Louisiana
West Virginia
Alabama
Mississippi
Northern Mariana Islands
American Samoa

There you have it--map out future longevity with the CDC report.

The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services.

CDC´s top organizational components include the Office of the Director, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and six Coordinating Centers/Offices.

The CDC mission is: To promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.

CDC seeks to accomplish its mission by working with partners throughout the nation and the world to

monitor health,
detect and investigate health problems,
conduct research to enhance prevention,
develop and advocate sound public health policies,
implement prevention strategies,
promote healthy behaviors,
foster safe and healthful environments,
provide leadership and training.

For more information, see http://cdc.gov.