Highlights of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1993
Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 44, No. 7, Supplement
February 29, 1996
The National Center for Health Statistics released its annual report on final mortality statistics for 1993.
- In 1993 the overall age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. increased for the first time since 1988, interrupting a general decline that has been occurring since 1930. The overall increase was primarily due to increases in deaths from heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), HIV, accidents, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, and stroke.
- Life expectancy in the U.S. declined from 75.8 years in 1992 to 75.5 years in 1993, the first decline since 1980. The decline was primarily attributed to the two influenza epidemics of 1993, which resulted in large increases in mortality — particularly for older Americans — from pneumonia and several chronic conditions, including heart disease, COPD, and diabetes.
- Despite the decline in life expectancy in 1993, provisional data for 1994 show life expectancy increasing almost back to the 1992 level (75.7 years).
- The overall infant mortality rate in the U.S. in 1993 was 8.4 deaths per 1, 000 live births, a new low. Provisional data for 1994 show the infant mortality rate dropping to 7.9. In 1993 for white infants the rate was 6.8, while for black infants the rate was 16.5. Although significant gaps in infant mortality remain between the black and white population, there was a larger decline in mortality for black infants from 1992 to 1993 than for white infants.
- Increases were documented for causes of death that disproportionately affect younger people. HIV ranked among the 10 leading causes of death for white and black males and females in age groups 1-4 years, 5-14 years, 15-24 years, and 25-44 years respectively. Also, nearly 1,000 children under the age of 15 years died as a result of firearm injuries, including 116 children under age 5 years and 841 children between the ages of 5 and 14 years.
Reports are based on information from death certificates completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, coroners, and medical examiners. Source: “Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1993,” Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 44, No. 7, Supplement (in production).
For further information contact the NCHS Office of Public Affairs at 301-458-4800 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.