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Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
Date:9/4/2007

liman analysis found that U.S. mortality rates have declined since the 1970s, an average of 1.5% annually for males and 1.1% annually for females. However, overall mortality risk is still significant. Today, the probability of death before age 65 for a 35 year old is nearly 18% for males and 11% for females.

According to the findings of a recent LIFE survey, however, Americans generally underestimate their risks - for example, only 5% of Americans ages 35-44 said they think they will die before reaching age 65, when in fact a typical 35-year-old male has a 17.5% chance of death before age 65.

"It's no surprise that people are generally optimistic about their own mortality. No one likes to think about the risks they face," said Mr. Woods. "People may think that the odds are in their favor, but unfortunately, we live in the real world where life happens. If you have people who depend on you, it's your responsibility to guarantee that they'll be taken care of."

Additional Mortality Trends

The study also confirms that mortality risks become greater as people age. In fact, looking at the probability of death within 10 years or less, data show that a person's mortality risk practically doubles every 10 years. Mortality rates for females also continue to be lower than those for males in the older age groups, but the gap is narrowing.

Probability of Death in 10 Years or Less

Starting Age 25 Starting Age 35 Starting Age 45 Starting Age 55

Males 1.4% 2.4% 5.3% 10.7%

Females 0.6% 1.4% 3.1% 6.9%

Probability of Death Prior to Attained Age 65

Starting Age 25 Starting Age 35 Starting Age 45 Starting Age 55

18.6% 17.5% 15.5% 10.7%

Males or greater than or greater than or greater than or greater than

One-in-6
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SOURCE The LIFE Foundation
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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