U.S. deaths up for the first time in 10 years

Posted at 10:54 AM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 10:53:41-04

DEKALB COUNTY, GA-- It may not be the end of the world, but things ain't lookin' good.See, for the first time in a decade, the death rates in the U.S. have gone up.

It's not because of Zika, or Ebola or even people going crazy (as witnessed by the current presidential election).

One reason is drugs. Fatal drug overdoses went up, along with suicides and deaths related to Alzheimer's. Even heart disease killed more people last year, and that's been decreasing for years.

Could the drug deaths be related to the increase in prescription drug abuse by less-educated white folks? Researchers say it's too early to tell.

Total deaths went up from 723.2 per 100,000 in 2014 to 729.5 in 2015. With the U.S. population at 318.9 million, that means about 20,000 more people lost their lives last year compared to 2014.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it would be premature to panic, but if it happens again this year, they'll be "a lot more concerned. "

So what's most likely to do you in? The CDC broke it down by regions. Gun suicide affects more of the Upper Midwest and Alaska. Washington is a hot spot for Alzheimer's. And if you live in the South, drinking and obesity will probably end up killing you.

Ahhh, science-- they can tell you why you're dying and how to prevent it, but nobody can make you change your ways except you.