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Drug-poisonings linked to opioids dragging down US life expectancy rates

Drug-poisonings linked to opioids dragging down US life expectancy rates (CNN Newsource)

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (KRDO) -- Recent research suggests that the opioid crisis is having an impact on life expectancy in the U.S.

Life expectancy is the average time a person is expected to live, based on when they were born and other demographic factors.

Researchers examined data from the national vital statistics system mortality file, which tracks death certificates registered in each state and the District of Columbia. They found that, between 2000 and 2015, life expectancy increased overall.

Death rates related to conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease all dropped. But drug-poisoning deaths - mostly related to opioids -increased dramatically.

Researchers found that deaths from drug poisoning generally more than doubled. And deaths from drug poisoning involving opioids more than tripled.

The study's authors say that the number of opioid-involved poisoning deaths is likely underestimated, noting that up to a quarter of death certificates do not list the specific drug involved.

The study was published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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