U.S. life expectancy has risen to a new high, now standing at nearly 78 years, the government reported Wednesday.
The increase is due mainly to falling death rates in almost all the leading causes of death. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2007 is nearly three months greater than for children born in 2006.
The new U.S. data is a preliminary report based on about 90 percent of the death certificates collected in 2007. It comes from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some interesting tidbits from the report: deaths from heart disease dropped almost 5%, from cancer dropped about 2%, and from HIV dropped 10%, that last one being the largest drop in 10 years.