Life Expectancy at All-Time High: 77

ATLANTA?Life expectancy in the United States has climbed to an all-time high of nearly 77 years, while infant mortality has dropped to the lowest level on record, the government reported Wednesday.

A government study of death certificates nationwide put U.S. life expectancy at 76.9 years for someone born in 2000, up from 76.7 in 1999, the National Center for Health Statistics said. Infant mortality dropped last year to 6.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Death rates also fell for the nation’s leading killers, including heart disease, cancer and stroke.

?It?s a relatively optimistic report,? said Ari Minino, an NCHS statistician and an author of the study. ?It shows if you follow what’s generally deemed a good lifestyle, and you have good genes, you can beat a lot of stuff that can get in your way.?

Life expectancy has been rising steadily for years.

The gender gap for life expectancy also narrowed, but women continue to live considerably longer than men?79.5 years versus 74.1.