U.S. life expectancy up, partially due to fewer AIDS deaths

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 19 2003 1:00 AM ET

Life expectancy for Americans has reached an all-time high of 77.2 years, mostly due to a decrease in deaths due to major diseases, including AIDS, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Life expectancy for men is now 74.4 years, up from 74.3 years in 2000. For women, life expectancy is now 79.8 years, up from 79.7 years in 2000. The increases are due to drops in deaths from most major diseases, with AIDS deaths declining 4% from 2000 to 2001. The number of U.S. AIDS deaths annually is down nearly 70% from 1995 levels. However, AIDS remains the sixth leading cause of death for people ages 25-44 and is one of the top killers of African-Americans in that age group.