Drug overdoses set another new record in 2017, cresting at 70,237 - up from 63,632 the year before, the government said in a companion report.
Suicide and drug overdose rates continued to rise in 2017, helping drive the number of US deaths to the highest total in more than 100 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a series of reports on mortality released Thursday.
Life expectancy in the U.S.is going down and it has researchers shaking their heads.
Among people of all ages who died in 2017, the top 10 causes of death remained the same as in the previous year, the CDC said.
The "statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
As a result, the average life span in America dropped to "78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2016", said the report.
A class of synthetic drugs has replaced heroin in many major American drug markets, ushering in a more deadly phase of the opioid epidemic.
OH has the second-highest rate in the country, with neighboring states West Virginia and Pennsylvania making up the top three.
The third consecutive annual dip is the longest such trend since 1915-1918, when the country braved World War I and a flu pandemic.
Suicides are also on the rise, and men are again more likely to be affected.
Rates increased both for men (from 8.2 in 1999 to 29.1 in 2017) and women (from 3.9 in 1999 to 14.4 in 2017).
As drug overdose deaths have risen, so too have suicides, steadily increasing among already-suicide-prone men. But it's deaths in younger age groups - particularly middle-aged people - that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.
Finally, the 10 leading causes of death in 2017, accounting for almost three-quarters of all deaths across the nation, were heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide.
Monaco and Japan now have the longest life expectancies in the world at 89 and 85 years. That meant there were 46.3 overdose deaths per every 100,000 people. The rate of death increased from 729 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 to 732 deaths, an increase of 0.4 percent. Cancer deaths declined by 2.1 percent in 2017, CNN noted. In 1999, by contrast, that number was around 10.5 per 100,000 people.
It is not just drug overdoses and suicides driving the drop in life expectancy.
As you can see in the map (linked here and embedded below), the areas most affected by high rates of death are concentrated in the Southeast and parts of the Southwest.
"The pattern of drugs involved in drug overdose deaths has changed in recent years", the CDC said, noting a 45 percent increase in overdose deaths involving drugs synthetic opioids between 2016 and 2017.
Meanwhile, the use of overdose-preventing drugs like narcan is being actively objected to by police forces around the country, as many refuse to carry the opioid antidote.
Suicide rates for males aged 10-74 were higher in 2017 than in 1999.