The phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is one that everybody is familiar with. It claims that eating right will keep a person healthy for longer, but what if something happens that is outside the control of that individual? Over the past two years, the overall life expectancy in the United States has dropped by over two years, and this has been the largest decline since World War II (CNN). The obvious cause for this decline is the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in over 998,000 deaths as of May 13th, according to the New York Times. COVID-19 “was the third leading cause of death, behind cancer and heart disease. Together, those three causes accounted for nearly half of all deaths in the U.S. in 2020,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports (WCBD News 2).The new life expectancy of an American citizen is 76.60 years, with the expectancy for males being 74.2 years and the expectancy for women being 79.9 years (WCBD News 2).
South Carolina Life Expectancy is Below Average
However, even with the decline of the national average, South Carolina’s average life expectancy is lower. Compared to the rest of the country, South Carolina ranks 43rd overall, with men living an average of 73.9 years and women living an average of 79.7 years (US News). The leading causes of death in South Carolina are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and accidents (WCBD News 2). In 2019, 10,578 South Carolinians died from heart disease, and 55,853 citizens were hospitalized due to heart disease which led to 4.5 billion dollars of hospitalization charges, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Their studies also found that many South Carolinians fell into categories that put them more at-risk for heart disease, such as having a sedentary lifestyle, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or being overweight or obese. In 2019, 69.3 percent of people over 18 in South Carolina were overweight or obese, 38.3 percent suffered from high blood pressure, and 36.7 percent suffered from high cholesterol. Though heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in South Carolina, strokes have many of the same risk factors. Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in South Carolina, and it led to over 1.3 billion dollars in hospitalization charges in 2019. As part of the “Stroke Belt,” it is important for South Carolinians to be aware of risk factors and to avoid them whenever possible
While the likelihood of dying from one of these causes can be reduced based on lifestyle, accidents are just that: accidents. It is difficult to be prepared against them, and it is concerning that it is one of South Carolina’s leading causes of death. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the most common fatal occupational injury in South Carolina is transportation incidents which resulted in 41 percent of all fatal occupational injuries, which is 4 percent higher than the national average (U.S. Department of Labor). When totaling the number of drunk-driving related fatalities per state during the years 2009-2018, South Carolina had the fourth highest number of fatalities in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine (Forbes). There was also a 14 percent increase in alcohol-related deaths from 2019 to 2020 despite there being a decrease in miles traveled during the pandemic (MADD).
South Carolina is a beautiful state to live in with its mountains, beaches, and plentiful wildlife. However, in order to appreciate its beauty for longer, the average citizen must be aware of the risk factors faced here that cause the population to have one of the lowest life expectancies within the United States and be willing to combat them when possible.
Contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Wrongful Death Consultation
If someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.
We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a wrongful death. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Wrongful Death Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!
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