Wednesday, April 19, 2006

U.S. Records Big Decline in Death Rate

From -- "In a powerful testament to U.S. health improvements, the annual number of deaths in the country dropped by about 50,000 in 2004 _ the largest such decline in more than 60 years.

Drops in the death rates for heart disease, cancer and stroke accounted for most of the surprising development, health officials said.

Overall, age-adjusted death rates fell to a record low of 801 deaths per 100,000 population in 2004, down from almost 833 deaths per 100,000 in 2003.

"These are preliminary data," said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Atlanta's Emory University. "But if it holds up, it's obviously very good news."

The government also said Wednesday that U.S. life expectancy had inched up again, to a record high of 77.9 years."

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