ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
The Unmedicated Mind
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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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