By Tracy Agnew
Americans lost about 1/10 of a year in life expectancy in 2008, The Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics released its report on the 2008 numbers last week.
The news for infants was particularly good in the 2008 numbers. The preliminary infant mortality rate fell to an all-time low — 6.59 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Birth defects were the leading cause of infant death in 2008, followed by disorders related to preterm birth and low birth weight. Sudden infant death syndrome was the third leading cause.
The numbers are based on 99 percent of death certificates reported from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.