Americans are living longer than ever, but still die younger than people in some 40 other countries.
U.S. government statistics released Wednesday show American life expectancy at an all-time high of nearly 78 years. The information is from 2005, the latest year for which information was available.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that death rates declined for eight of the 15 leading causes of death. These include heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in America, which account for more than half of all deaths each year.
But the United States continues to slip in international rankings of life expectancy, lagging behind 41 countries including Japan, Jordan, Macau and Singapore, as well as most of Europe.
Independent researchers say America's poor showing compared to other industrialized democracies results, in part, because of widespread obesity and a lack of health insurance.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.