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Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 65 -- United States, 1987

The number of years of potential life lost before age 65 (YPLL) is a measure of premature mortality that takes into account the age at death. The rate of YPLL decreased from 5016 per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1986 (final data (1)) to 4949/100,000 in 1987 (10% sample provisional data (2)), representing a 1.3% decline. Provisional YPLL for 1987 was lower than final YPLL for 1986 for 10 of 13 major categories (Table 1). The largest decline in YPLL (16%) occurred for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A 45% increase in YPLL was attributed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which changed rank order of YPLL from 1986 (eighth) to 1987 (seventh). Small increases in YPLL occurred for malignant neoplasms (0.3%) and cerebrovascular disease (0.1%). In the absence of increased HIV-related YPLL, the total YPLL rate would have decreased 2.2% from 1986 to 1987.

When age-adjusted YPLL rates were calculated by state (Figure 1), states in the two highest quartiles appear predominantly in the southern half of the United States. The higher YPLL rates may reflect the racial composition of the southern states since they have a higher proportion of blacks (4), and blacks have a lower life expectancy than whites (5). The YPLL rate for the District of Columbia (11,868/100,000) far exceeds the highest rate for any state (6876/100,000). Reported by: Epidemiology and Surveillance Br, Div of Surveillance and Epidemiologic Studies, Epidemiology Program Office, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Different data sources were used to calculate YPLL attributed to HIV infection in 1986 and 1987. For 1986 and previous years, YPLL were calculated using deaths reported through CDC surveillance of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome cases. For 1987, YPLL were calculated from national vital records using ICD-9 codes 042-044 for classifying and coding "HIV infection." These codes were introduced by NCHS in 1987 (2).


  1. National Center for Health Statistics. Advance report of final mortality statistics, 1986. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1988; DHHS publication no. (PHS)88-1120. (Monthly vital statistics report; vol 37, no. 6 suppl). 2.National Center for Health Statistics. Annual summary of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths: United States, 1987. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1988; DHHS publication no. (PHS)88-1120. (Monthly vital statistics report; vol 36, no. 13). 3.Irwin R. 1980-1986 Intercensal population estimates by race, sex, and age (machine-readable data file). Alexandria, Virginia: Demo-Detail, November 16, 1987. 4.Bureau of the Census. State and metropolitan area data book, 1986. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1986:509. 5.Keith VM, Smith DP. The current differential in black and white life expectancy. Demography 1988;25:625-32.

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