Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Opiods, PNAS / 18.03.2020 Interview with: Mikko Myrskylä PhD Executive Director, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Economics Professor of Social Statistics University of Helsinki What is the background for this study? Response: Life expectancy in the U.S. increased at a phenomenal pace throughout the twentieth century, by nearly two years per decade. After 2010, however, U.S. life expectancy growth stalled and has most recently been declining. A critical question for American health policy is how to return U.S. life expectancy to its pre-2010 growth rate. Researchers and policy makers have focused on rising drug-related deaths in their search for the explanations for the stalling and declining life expectancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Global Health / 20.01.2020 Interview with: Prof. Andrea On Yan LUK (陸安欣) Associate Professor, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Specialist in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Honorary Associate Consultant, Hospital Authority What is the background for this study? Response: The overall mortality in people with diabetes has declined in many developed countries but little is known about the mortality trend in Asia. In this study, we examined the trend in mortality rates using a territory-wide database of 770,000 people with diabetes in Hong Kong. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 27.11.2019 Interview with: Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH Director Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Center on Society and Health Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chair in Population Health and Health Equity Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Richmond, Virginia 23298-0212 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Life expectancy in the US has decreased for three years in a row, the first time this has occurred in this country since the Spanish flu epidemic a century ago. Meanwhile, life expectancy in other countries continues to climb. Our study found that the trend is being driven by an increase in death rates among working-age adults (ages 25-64 years), which began as early as the 1990s. The increase has involved deaths from drug overdoses—a major contributor—but also from alcoholism, suicides, and a long list of organ diseases. We found increases in 35 causes of death. We analyzed the trends across the 50 states and discovered that the trend is concentrated in certain regions, especially the Industrial Midwest (Rust Belt) and Appalachia, whereas other regions like the Pacific states were least affected. Increases in midlife mortality in four Ohio Valley states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky) accounted for one third of the excess deaths between 2010 and 2017. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Mental Health Research, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 15.07.2019 Interview with: Samuel Preston, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology University of Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Life expectancy at birth in the United States is low by international standards and has been declining in recent years. Our study aimed to identify how these trends differed by age, sex, cause of death, metropolitan status, and region. We found that, over the period 2009-11 to 2014-16, mortality rose at ages 25-44 in large metropolitan areas and their suburbs as well as in smaller metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan areas. Mortality at ages 45-64 also rose in all of these areas except large metropolitan areas. These were the ages responsible for declining life expectancy. Changes in life expectancy were particularly adverse for non-metropolitan areas and for women. The metropolitan distinctions in mortality changes were similar from region to region. The cause of death contributing most strongly to mortality declines was drug overdose for males and mental and nervous system disorders for women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Social Issues / 12.11.2017 Interview with: Francesco Acciai PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Food Policy and Environmental Research Group School of Nutrition and Health Promotion Arizona State University What is the background for this study? Response: In 2015 life expectancy at birth (e0) in the United States was lower than it was in 2014. In the previous 30 years, a reduction in life expectancy at the national level had occurred only one time, in 1993, during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The decrease in life expectancy observed in 2015 is particularly worrisome because it was not generated by an anomalous spike in a specific cause of death (like HIV/AIDS in 1993). Instead, age-adjusted death rates increased for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death—heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide, according to the CDC. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Opiods / 19.09.2017 Interview with: Dr. Deborah Dowell, MD MPH Senior Medical Advisor Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What is the background for this study? Response: Increases in U.S. life expectancy at birth have leveled off from an average of 0.20 years gained per year from 1970 to 2000 to 0.15 years gained per year from 2000 to 2014. U.S. life expectancy decreased from 2014 to 2015 and is now lower than in most high-income countries, with this gap projected to increase. Drug poisoning (overdose) death rates more than doubled in the United States from 2000-2015; those involving opioids more than tripled. Increases in poisoning have been reported to have reduced life expectancy for non-Hispanic white Americans from 2000-2014. Specific contributions of drug, opioid, and alcohol poisoning to changes in U.S. life expectancy since 2000 were unknown. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews / 08.09.2014 Interview with: Dr. Benedict Truman Associate Director for Science CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Truman: In 2008, healthy life expectancy, which isthe number of years a person is expected to live in good or better health after a particular age, varied by sex, race/ethnicity and geographical regions in the United States. In each of four U.S. census regions, females were expected to live longer and healthier lives than males; non-Hispanic whites were expected to live shorter but healthier lives than Hispanics; and non-Hispanic whites were expected to live longer and healthier lives than non-Hispanic blacks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins / 23.07.2014

Eva DuGoff, PhD, MPP Graduate Student Department of Health Policy and Management Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Interview with: Eva DuGoff, PhD, MPP Graduate Student Department of Health Policy and Management Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. DuGoff: In this study we investigate average life expectancy in older adults living with one to 10 or more different chronic conditions. Our main finding is that life expectancy decreases with each additional chronic condition. (more…)
Author Interviews / 28.01.2014 Interview with: Gopal K. Singh, Ph.D., M.S., M.Sc. Senior Epidemiologist/Health Care Administrator Office of Epidemiology and Research Division of Epidemiology HRSA/ Maternal and Child Health Bureau U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Rockville, MD 20857, USA and Mohammad Siahpush, PhD Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health What are the main findings of the study? Answer: There are significant disparities in life expectancy between rural and urban areas of the United States – and these disparities have widened over the past 4 decades. In 1969, life expectancy was 0.4 years longer in urban than in rural areas (70.9 vs. 70.5 years). In 2009, the life expectancy difference between urban and rural areas increased to 2.0 years (78.8 vs. 76.8 years). Much of the disparity appears to have increased since 1990. Life expectancy has increased more rapidly in urban than in rural areas, which has contributed to the widening gap in life expectancy. Life expectancy is lower in more rural areas. In 2005-2009, life expectancy was 79.1 years in large metro areas, 77.8 in small metro areas, 76.9 years in small-urban towns, and 76.7 years in rural areas. So, the difference in life expectancy between the most-urban and most-rural was 2.4 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Medicare, Outcomes & Safety / 23.07.2013 Interview with: Alai Tan, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Community Health Sr. Biostatistician, Sealy Center on Aging Univerisity of Texas Medical Branch 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX  77555-0177 What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Tan: The study developed and validated sex-specific Cox proportional-hazards models with predictors of age and comorbidities to predict patient life expectancy using Medicare claims data. The predictive model was well-calibrated and showed good predictive discrimination for risk of mortality between 5 and 10 years. (more…)