FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, workers dig a new grave at a church cemetery in New Vienna, Iowa. Preliminary data released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 shows U.S. death rates rose again last year, indicating that 2017 likely will mark the third straight decline in American life expectancy. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP)

With death rate up, US life expectancy is likely down again

May 23, 2018 - 2:25 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — New government data show U.S. death rates rose last year, suggesting 2017 will mark the third straight year of decline in American life expectancy.

Death rates rose for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, flu and pneumonia, and three other leading causes of death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the statistics online Wednesday.

Full-year data is not yet available for drug overdoses, suicides or firearm deaths. But partial-year statistics in those categories showed continuing increases.

Just as important, there was little change in the death rate from the nation's No. 1 killer: heart disease. In the past, steady annual drops in heart disease death rates offset increases in other causes. But experts say that offset is no longer happening.

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