A child born in America today is expected to live longer than at any other time in history. A new study by the National Center for Health Statistics forecasts average life expectancy for those born in 2012 (the most recent year available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) at 78.8 years –– about a month longer than it was in 2011. As usual, women are outliving men, with a life expectancy of 81 versus men's 76.
These expectancy rates were calculated using information from death certificates as well as population and census estimates. The good news from the report is that fewer people are dying from heart disease, cancer, and stroke. The report does not explain why the death rates from these health issues have gone down.
The report also emphasizes that heart disease, cancer and stroke are still among the leading causes of death. An earlier study from the CDC found that at least 200,000 deaths a year are preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes.