US Life Expectancy Reaches 78

WASHINGTON ~ The average life expectancy in the United States reached 78 years for the first time in 2006, according to government figures out this week.

The figures also show a clear drop in the number of Americans killed by eight of the 10 leading causes of death. The largest decline in death rates between 2005 and 2006 occurred for influenza and pneumonia (12.8 percent), said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Declines were also noted for chronic lower respiratory diseases (6.5 percent), stroke (6.4 percent), heart disease (5.5 percent), adult diabetes (5.3 percent), hypertension (5.0 percent), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3.3 percent), suicide (2.8 percent), septicemia or blood poisoning (2.7 percent), cancer (1.6 percent) and accidents (1.5 percent).

EU Seeks Ban on Malaysian Seafood

BRUSSELS ~ The European Commission is seeking a ban on Malaysian seafood and live fish imports over concerns they fail to meet EU standards, an official said on Wednesday.

“The commission is proposing to the member states the adoption of two draft decisions suspending imports of fisheries products and live fish, except tropical ornamental fish, from Malaysia,” a commission official said on condition of anonymity.

“These imports should be suspended due the bad outcome of a recent commission inspection that indicated these commodities may be of concern for the community public and animal health,” the official added.

One in Four New Yorkers Has Genital Herpes

NEW YORK ~ One in four adults living in New York City has the virus that causes genital herpes, and among African-Americans the rate is almost 50 percent, official statistics show.

The sexually transmitted herpes simplex virus Type 2 is more prevalent in New York City, at 26 percent, than nationally, where 19 percent of adults, roughly one in five, are infected.

Far more women than men have the virus, 36 percent compared to 19, in the city mythologized in the television-turned-movie megahit Sex and the City.

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