As the American death rates increased and birth rates decreased last year, researchers claim this isn't cause for concern just yet.
For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. death rate has increased from 723.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 729.5, a statistic that has surprised experts as national increases are rare.
It is thought to be a result of increased cases of Alzheimer’s, chronic liver disease, hypertension and septicemia as well as drug overdoses possibly caused by the current opioid epidemic and gun-related deaths. Although all factors, it is unclear exactly where to pinpoint the increase. Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics stated that they need more data to find out why.
“The question is, what does it mean? We really need more data to know. If we start looking at 2016 and we see another rise, we’ll be a lot more concerned.”
The data was analyzed from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for 2014-2015 and the last time an increased was observed was back in 2005 when there was a significant outbreak of flu. The study also showed an decrease in birth rates going down by 0.3 percent from 2014 although this has been found in teenagers giving birth less according to a New York Times report.
Farida Ahmad, NCHS’ mortality surveillance lead, states that there isn’t anything to worry about and more research will be conducted to monitor any further increases in death rates.
“There’s no smoking gun here. It’s something that we’re going to be looking into and watching to see if it holds for 2016. It could be that it’s just a blip as it was 10 years ago.”
There was positive news, however, with the statistics showing a decrease in the number of cancer-related deaths.
You can read the statistical report at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.