ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High

Average life expectancy in the United States has reached almost 78 years, a record high, federal health officials said Wednesday.

From birth in 2007, women can expect to live to 80.4 years on average and men to 75.3 years, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But even though Americans can expect to live longer than their parents, life expectancy in the United States is still lower than in many other industrialized countries, including Canada and Japan.

Along with increased life expectancy, the report notes the death rate has dropped to an all-time low of 760.3 deaths per 100,000 people, continuing a long-term trend.

"The risk of dying has dropped to a record low level, and life expectancy has reached a record high," said report co-author Arialdi M. Minino, a statistician at the CDC's Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics.

"Ever since the 1960s, the death rate has been decreasing in the United States," he said. Fewer deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer are driving the trend, he said.

The report is based on data from nearly 90 percent of U.S. death certificates.

According to the report, life expectancy in 2007 increased to 77.9 years -- or 77 years and 11 months -- up from 77.7 years in 2006. Since 2000, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years.

The five leading causes of death, accounting for 64 percent of all deaths, are heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents.

Other findings include:

* Death rates in the United States vary by region and state, with the Southeast leading the nation. West Virginia's death rate is 25 percent higher than average, while Hawaii has the lowest death rate.
* White women have the longest life expectancy (80.7 years) followed by black women (77 years).
* At age 65, life expectancy was 18.6 years in 2007, an increase of 6 percent since 2000.
* Since 1989, the gap in life expectancy between whites and blacks has dropped 35 percent, to 4.6 years.

"This is great news," Dr. William O'Neill, executive dean for clinical affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said of the overall findings.

Many people say the United States health care system is broken, O'Neill said. "But, this is kind of great evidence to show there has actually been some dramatic improvements in the health of Americans over the last 20 years."

However, living longer will also have unforeseen effects on the country, he said.

"We are going to have many people 80 to 90 years old," O'Neill said. "So how is the U.S. going to handle this huge increase?"

People living 20 years or more than their predecessors will have to rethink retirement planning, O'Neill said.

Also, the nation will see a significant drain on Social Security and Medicare benefits, he said. These programs weren't designed to support people for that long, he said, noting people typically lived five to 10 years after retiring, he said.

Increased life expectancy is largely the result of better treatment for heart disease, he said.

"The biggest reason people are living longer is that we have done a fantastic job in dealing with coronary artery disease," O'Neill said. In time, cancer may overtake heart disease as the nation's number one killer, the report noted.

O'Neill anticipates the trend toward longer life will continue, especially as cancer treatment improves. "I am seeing people living with cancers that 15 years ago would have been considered hopeless," he said.

SOURCES: Arialdi M. Minino, M.P.H, statistician, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics; William O'Neill, M.D., executive dean, clinical affairs, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dec. 16, 2009, Death in the United States, 2007, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Published on: December 16, 2009