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Doctor explains reasons behind dropping U.S. life expectancy

SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time since 1915, the U.S. life expectancy rate has dropped for three straight years. Now, we’re learning why.

One doctor says Americans have greater access to guns than mental health.

“People are feeling fairly isolated in our country, and I think that this is a reflection of it,” said Dr. Brenda Reiss-Brennan, Intermountain Healthcare’s Mental Health Integration Director.

“People feel just desperate and fearful.”

The new U.S. life expectancy is 78.6 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blames rising opioid abuse and suicide rates.

“Or is it the underlying issues underneath it that families are struggling with, that we have not been able to really address in terms of economics and poverty?” the doctor asked.

The CDC also reports older generations are dying faster.

KSL Newsradio’s Amanda Dickson will have more with Dr. Reiss-Brennan on Sunday’s episode of “A Woman’s View.”