The last time US life expectancy at birth declined was in 1993, when it dropped from 75.6 to 75.4, according to World Bank data. "We're seeing so many more preventable causes of death, and they're significantly affecting mortality negatively", he told STAT.
Previous year saw spikes in mortality rates for eight out of ten of the most frequent causes of death, including lung disease, stroke, diabetes and suicide.
Of the 10 leading causes of death, eight increased in 2015, one stayed statistically the same, and one - cancer - actually decreased.
"We've been fortunate to experience steadily improving health in the USA and we should be very concerned if that trend is going to reverse".
The data released by the National Center for Health Statistics on Thursday shows that life expectancy in the United States dropped a year ago for the first time since 1993.
The overall death rate also rose 1.2 percent in 2015, with a total of 2,712,630 resident deaths registered - 86,212 more than in 2014.
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The report did not delve into the reasons for the across-the-board decline in life expectancy from birth, but experts pointed to economic struggles, drug addiction and the increasing burden of dementia on an aging population as potential factors.
The figures show rises in several causes of death, especially heart disease, dementia and accidental infant deaths.
The latest numbers technically mean that someone born in 2015 is expected to live an average of 78.8 years. For women, life expectancy decreased by one-tenth of a year, from 81.3 years to 81.2 years.
He was also not encouraged by the drop in cancer deaths, noting that experts have been expecting much larger drops since cigarette smoking has declined dramatically among Americans. Morton Tavel, M.D., a clinical professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and author of Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks: A Physician's Advice, tells SELF that the increase in the death rate in several areas can "easily be explained by our increasing obesity rate".
The biggest increase was seen in Alzheimer's at 15.7 percent. Leading the pack by far was Monaco, with an estimated life expectancy of 89.5 years. Infant mortality rates, which are "generally regarded as a good indicator of the overall health of a population", according to the report, were basically unchanged from 2014 and therefore did not contribute to the overall drop in life expectancy. Women only dipped from 81.3 years to 81.2.
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"But if we don't know why life expectancy is decreasing for some groups, we can't be confident that it won't start declining for others".