ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
CANCER
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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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