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CDC report assesses U.S. life expectancy at new high of 78 years

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ATLANTA A child born in the United States in 2005 can expect to live nearly 78 years–a new high–according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2005.”

The report from CDC?s National Center for Health Statistics is based on approximately 99 percent of death records reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for 2005 and documents the latest trends in the leading causes of death and infant mortality.

The increase in life expectancy represents a continuation of a long-running trend. Over the past decade, life expectancy has increased from 75.8 years in 1995, and from 69.6 years in 1955.

“This report highlights the continued reduction in deaths from the three leading killers in the United States, heart disease, cancer and stroke, which is most likely due to better prevention efforts and medical advances in the treatments of these diseases,” stated Hsiang-Ching Kung, a survey statistician with CDC?s National Center for Health Statistics and one of the report?s authors. “If death rates from certain leading causes of death continue to decline, we should continue to see improvements in life expectancy."

The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs. Final U.S. mortality data for 2005 will not be available until next year, the agency reported.

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