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Life Expectancy Now Higher Than Ever In U.S.

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Injury Board: If you were born in 2007, your life expectancy just went up to nearly 78 years, the highest it's ever been, the government reports today.

old hands

The data comes from the majority of death certificates collected by the government in 2007, and reported by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC.

The death rate is about a year-and-a-half higher than one decade ago and is due to falling death rates from heart disease and cancer, responsible for nearly half of U.S. fatalities.

Heart disease rates dropped nearly five percent in 2007 while cancer death rates fell nearly two percent, according to the report.

HIV death rates dropped 10 percent, the biggest one year drop in 10 years, reports the Associated Press.

The U.S. lifespan still trails Japan at 83 years, for someone born in 2007, reports the World Health Organization. French babies live to be about 80.9 years, while babies born in Italy, Australia, Canada, and Sweden can expect to live to be at least 80, reports ABC News.

In a country ravaged by the AIDS virus, Zimbabwe, the life expectancy is 39.7 years.

Alzheimer's disease now surpasses diabetes as the sixth leading cause of death, largely due to the climbing rate of Alzheimer's. The infant mortality rate stands at roughly 6.777 infant deaths per 1,000 births. Advances in medicine allow infants to live longer than in the past.

Women still live an average of five years longer than men, the CDC reports. Newborn baby boys will live to be about 75 years of age, and girls can expect to live to 80.

Death rates also dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Most Americans, 48.5 percent, died of heart disease or cancer in 2007.

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