By Suresh Kumar
The report card is in, and the verdict is damning — the U.S. is now the only country in the developed world where life expectancy has declined three years in a row.
More distressing are the underlying causes for reduced life expectancy. In the U.S., people in their 20s and 30s, prime productive years (not the 65+ years seen elsewhere) are affected most and contribute to our reduced life expectancy. Not everything can be blamed on the ongoing opioid crisis, though. Last year, unintended injuries caused 65,000 deaths, and that’s a category that continues to increase. It now ranks third in mortality after heart disease and cancer. Deaths of despair from drug overdoses, suicides, gun-related incidents, and substance and alcohol abuse are all on the rise.