(NBC News) The expected life expectancy has been reduced in the United States, and is largely to blame for the increasing number of drug overdoses and suicides.
The National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control reported that more than 70,000 people died of overdose in 2017, an almost 10 percent increase from the previous year.
Suicides increased by almost 4 percent.
Together, the two causes of death are the main reason that life expectancy has been decreasing for the third consecutive year.
In a statement, CDC Director Robert Redfield said: "These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, on conditions that can be prevented."
The expected life expectancy for Americans is now at 78.6, despite an increase in overdose, the CDC report shows that heart disease remains the number one killer in the country, followed by cancer.
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