Americans appear to be delaying death.
The National Center for Health Statistics says the number of deaths fell 50,000 in 2004. That's the biggest drop in more than 60 years.
The lead author of the government report calls the decline "kind of historical."
The preliminary mortality data has nearly 2.4 million people dying in 2004, while life expectancy hit a record high of 77.9 years.
An assistant professor of epidemiology at Atlanta's Emory University says if the information holds up, this is "very good news."
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