HealthDay News — There was an increase in the age-adjusted death rate from 2014 to 2015, and a decrease in life expectancy, according to a December data brief published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Jiaquan Xu, MD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues presented 2015 US final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographics and medical characteristics using data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers found that for the US population, life expectancy was 78.8 years in 2015, down 0.1 year from 2014. There was an increase of 1.2% in the age-adjusted death rate, from 724.6 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2014 to 733.1 in 2015. In 2015, the 10 leading causes of death remained the same as in 2014; increases were seen in age-adjusted death rates for eight leading causes, with a decrease in one. 

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There was no significant change in the infant mortality rate from 2014, with a rate of 589.5 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015. There was no change in the 10 leading causes of infant death from 2014 to 2015, although 2 causes changed ranks.

“From 2014 to 2015, the age-adjusted death rate for the total population increased 1.2 percent, and life expectancy at birth decreased 0.1 year,” the authors wrote.

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Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2015. NCHS data brief, no 267. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.