HIV Mortality Dropped 3.7% in 2000, CDC Study Shows
A CDC analysis of 85% of U.S. death certificates for 2000 showed that average life expectancy reached an all-time high of 76.9 years and mortality for several leading causes of death among Americans, including HIV, declined, a CDC release states. Mortality for HIV infection declined for the fifth straight year, falling by 3.7% in 2000, according to "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2000." HIV mortality increased by an average 16% every year between 1987 and 1994 before leveling off in 1995. However, mortality due to HIV infection declined dramatically over the next three years, dropping 29% in 1996, 48% in 1997 and 21% in 1998, before slowing to a 3.6% decrease in 1999. However, HIV remains the fifth leading cause of death for all races in the 25- to 44-year-old age group (CDC, "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2000," 10/9). Infant mortality and age-adjusted death rates for heart disease and cancer, which account for more than 50% of all American deaths each year, also continued to fall. However, death rates for Alzheimer's disease, influenza, pneumonia and kidney diseases rose in 2000. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson attributed the decreases to "the progress we've made in fighting disease," but added that through proper nutrition, exercise and "other simple steps to promote good health" Americans could lower mortality rates even more. The report is available online at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics Web site (CDC release, 10/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.