For the second time in three years, U.S. life expectancy has declined. The last time that happened, World War I was raging in Europe and a virulent flu pandemic was ravaging the home front.

This time around, the diseases stalking us are internal. The number of people who took their own life increased by more than 2,000 in 2017, while drug-overdose deaths rose by 10 percent, to more than 70,000.

Follow Megan McArdle on Twitter, @asymmetricinfo.

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