Americans Are Living Longer

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Americans are living longer than ever before.

Fewer deaths from things like heart disease, cancer and stroke have pushed the U-S life expectancy up to a record 77-point-six years. Still, the death rate from Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's is up in the U-S.

The annual figures come from the National Center for Health Statistics.

For women, the life expectancy is 80-point-one years -- five-point-three years longer than men. But that gap is narrowing. Back in 1979, women lived seven-point-eight years longer than men. In 2002, the gap was five-point-four years.

Research also shows an increase in active life expectancy. One sociology professor says even though people are living longer, there aren't proportionally a lot of very old, sick people.

The World Health Organization says the U-S still lags behind Japan, Switzerland, the U-K and many others in life expectancy.

Here's a link to the life expectancy calculator we mentioned on NewsCenter 13 at six: Life Expectancy Calculator