CDC report shows life expectancy continues to drop

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued their annual report on life expectancy. This marks the first time the United States has experienced a multi-year drop. This means that the life expectancy of children born today will have a lower life expectancy than a baby born two or three years ago.

The CDC Director Robert Redfield described the data as “troubling”. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” he said in a statement last week. Redfield mentioned the correlation between the drop in life expectancy with increases in drug overdoses and suicides.

South Dakota has also seen a rise in overdose and suicide rates. The state is addressing the increases by continuing the education process with various task forces on drugs, mental health and suicide, as well as collaborating with county and health care facilities to implement evidence-based interventions.

Gov. Daugaard has proposed a couple of things to also assist in addressing adverse trends in the state. First, he proposed increasing the federal expenditure authority for the Opioid Response Grant Funds by $4 million. Second, the governor proposed an increase in federal expenditure authority for the Opioid Crisis Grant funds by $1,748,900. Finally, he proposed an increase in general funds of $222,038 for suicide prevention. Additional details will follow as the budget becomes finalized in the next couple of months.

South Dakota’s ninth leading cause of death is suicide. Read the fact sheet.

Drug overdose death rates for SD are second lowest in the nation. Only Nebraska is lower. However, even one preventable death is too many. Read more.