For the third year in a row, life expectancy for the average American man has fallen, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Men in 2017 could expect to live four months fewer than they could in 2014, the report, released Monday, reveals.
Life expectancy declined for Americans as a whole in two out of the last three years - but has stabilized among women.
But deaths of despair - those caused by alcohol, suicide and, most notably, drug overdoses - continue to plague men in the US, so much so that they are driving down life expectancy nationwide.
The American life expectancy has fallen from 78.9 in 2014 (top, lightest blue) to 78.6 years in 2017 (darkest blue). The decline is driven primarily by men (middle section), whose life expectancies have fallen twice as steeply in the last three years
Humanity has invested a great deal of time, money technology and effort into surviving longer and longer.
And in the US, it's been pretty effective.
Between 1900 and 2014, life expectancy in the US steadily climbed up and up, from a mere 47.3 years to 78.9 by 2014.
Medicine and medical technologies continued to improve, gross domestic product in the US has continued to increase (with the exception of a dip triggered by the 2009 recession), yet the tide in life expectancy turned.
From 2014's peak, life expectancy fell to 78.7 years in 2015, stayed there in 2016 and fell again in 2017, to 78.6 years.
Women's life expectancy dipped by about a quarter of a percent between 2014 and 2015 - falling from 81.3 years to 81.1 years - but has since stayed there.
'Significant decreases in life expectancy have been observed each year since 2015 among men, while remaining stable among women,' wrote the CDC report authors.
Men's life expectancy has