ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
The Raw Food Diet
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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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