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  Health Highlights: Dec. 9, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

John Glenn, Legendary Astronaut and Later Senator, Has Died

John Glenn, a famed astronaut who was the first American to orbit the Earth, died Thursday. He was 95.

Glenn, who went on to a distinguished career as a U.S. Senator from Ohio, had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014, CNN reported.

Ohio State University President Michael Drake confirmed the death, releasing a statement Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio's consummate public servant and a true American hero. He leaves an undiminished legacy as one of the great people of our time," Drake wrote.

Glenn made his historic space flight in 1962, before serving as a Senator for 24 years.

Drug ODs Caused Record Number of Deaths in U.S. Last Year

A record number of Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

Overdose deaths rose 11 percent last year, to 52,404, driven by high rates of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, the Associated Press reported.

In 2015, car crash deaths increased 12 percent to 37,757, and gun deaths were up 7 percent to 36,252, according to the annual report on deaths and death rates.

Rates for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death rose last year, which caused life expectancy in the U.S. to decline for the first time in more than 20 years, the AP reported.

The leading cause of death was heart disease.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=717660

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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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