From Dr. Mercola:
For the first time 10 years, the death rate for people living in the U.S. has risen. Preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests both the overall number of deaths and the rate adjusted for the increasing likelihood of death as people age, rose in 2015.1
At the same time, the CDC also released numbers from one of the largest and broadest health surveys in the U.S., finding rising rates of obesity and diabetes. 2
Although in the past several decades the number of people who die from cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and stroke has declined, this year the number of deaths related to CVD has increased.3
Declining rates of death from multiple sources, including diabetes, cancers and CVD have been attributed to growing technological advancements in medical treatment protocols.
However, there comes a point when technology and treatments cannot overcome the effects of poor lifestyle choices.
Measurement of Death Rate
The death rate is measured as a number of people who die per 100,000. The overall rate has been declining in the U.S. since 1935. In 1935, the CDC published a death rate of 1,860.1 persons per 100,000, and in 2014 that number was 723.2 persons per 100,000.4,5 In 2015, the number rose to 729.2 persons per 100,000.
Although single-year improvements in mortality have been small since 1935, there has been an overall 60 percent decline in death rate between 1935 and 2010. Despite declining rates, every year the leading causes of death were heart disease, cancer and stroke.6
The rise in death rate in 2015 is significant as it represents a larger increase in death rate than has been experienced since 1993, when the rate rose by 8.8 people per 100,000 or an overall increase of 1.7 percent.7
The rates for the leading causes of death that year were stable, but there was a significant rise in the number of deaths from HIV.
What Caused the Rise in Death Rate?
On the surface, the CDC report lists a rise in several causes of death, including suicide, Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdose.8 The latter refers primarily to opioid prescription overdoses, which now far surpasses illicit drug overdoses.
In the past, although there have been increased numbers in specific groups noted, an increase in death rate for the entire population has been a relatively rare occurrence.
As of yet, the data from 2015 is preliminary and has not been completely broken down and evaluated. Using data from 1999 to 2014, researchers have demonstrated a rise in death rate in middle-class whites living in the U.S. and have found some disturbing trends.
Early evaluation of data revealed an increasing number of people who die earlier than expected from suicide and drug overdose.9
However, further exploration of CDC records by Commonwealth Fund researchers uncovered statistics that overdose and suicide could account for only 40 percent of the rise in early deaths. The remaining increases were from illnesses related to obesity.