For the past century, life expectancy in industrialized countries has increased, and the U.S. has shared in that progress. However, beginning in the 1980s, advances in U.S. life expectancy began to lose pace with peer countries. By 1998, U.S. life expectancy had fallen below the average for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development nations. U.S. life expectancy peaked in 2014 and has been decreasing for three consecutive years, a trend not been seen since the influenza pandemic a century ago. Put simply, U.S. health is in decline.



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Recommended Citation

Woolf SH, Schoomaker H, Hill L, Orndahl CM. The social determinants of health and the decline in U.S. life expectancy: implications for Appalachia. J Appalach Health 2019;1(1):6–14.