The number of Americans reaching the age of 100 rose to 72,197 in 2014, up from 50,281 in 2000 according to an article in Thursday’s New York Times citing federal health officials. More than 80% are women. Death rates for people living to 100 are 39.3 per 100 for whites, 28.6 per 100 for blacks and only 22.3 per 100 for Hispanics. Death rates dropped overall among centenarian men by 20% and by 14% for women 100 or older.
As people are living to 100, the death rate from Alzheimers disease among them increased 119% from 2000 stop 2014. Deaths of centenarians from influenza and pneumonia dropped 48% since the turn of the century and 31% for stroke and 24% for heart disease though it remains the leading cause of death for centenarians.
Persons who don’t have a genetic and personal history of heart disease and cancer and stay in good physical shape are living well into their 90s and beyond. Good nutrition and health habits have to begin early in life and be maintained or strengthened in middle age. Better drugs and health care also play a big part.
Here is a link to calculate your lifespan
Unfortunately, the good news about centenarians comes as recent reports are showing an increase in the death rate of almost epidemic proportions for middle aged whites from opioid and drug abuse and related suicides. The New York Times ran a map earlier in the week showing the dramatic increase in deaths across the country. The maps got redder and redder each year in the 2000s showing death rates increasing. While New York State fares much better than many other states, some areas of the state are seeing larger increases.