Mortality rates rise in U.S.

Share this content:

Mortality rates in the U.S. have been worsening over the last 20 years. A new report shows that its world rankings have slid during that period.

Obesity, smoking and AIDS have been the largest factors in the reversal of a long-progressing trend of increased longevity, according to a report in the latest edition of the journal The Lancet. The U.S., where 60% of adults are classified as overweight or obese, fell from No. 34 in the world in 1990 to No. 49 in 2010 in female mortality and from No. 41 to No. 45 in male mortality in that time span, according to the report. But the United States' reversal of longevity was not nearly as dramatic as Russia's. That country dropped from 43rd in female mortality in 1970 to 121st this year.

Cyprus topped the list of lowest mortality rate for women. And, Iceland's men have the lowest risk of premature death.