December 21, 2017 / 2:17 PM / a year ago

U.S. drug overdose deaths rose 21 percent to 63,600 in 2016-CDC

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Life expectancy in the United States fell in 2016 as the number of deaths due to drug overdoses rose more than 21 percent to 63,600, mainly due to opioids, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

In 2016, 42,249 people died from opioid-related overdoses, up 28 percent from 2015, while the number of deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone more than doubled to 19,413.

Life expectancy fell for the second year in a row, to 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2015.

West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania had the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2016, the CDC said. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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