Life expectancy stalls for the first time in the UK -- a sign 'there is something seriously wrong'

(CNN)Life expectancy in the UK did not improve between 2015 and 2017, stopping at 79.2 years for males and 82.9 for females, according to new data from the UK's Office for National Statistics.

Males and females in Scotland and Wales, as well as males in Northern Ireland, saw a 0.1 year decline in life expectancy at birth. Life expectancy in England has remained unchanged from 2014 to 2016.
Northern Ireland also reported a decline of 0.1 year -- more than one month -- in the life expectancy of 65-year-old males for the past three years.
    "2015 to 2017 saw the lowest improvements in life expectancy since the start of our series in 1980 to 1982," said Sophie Sanders, ONS statistician for the Centre of Ageing and Demography.
      The report suggests annual fluctuations, like the seasonal flu, are possible reasons for the number of deaths.
      The largest percentage increase in deaths in England and Wales, since 1968, was recorded in 2015. In 2017 deaths across England and Wales rose by further 0.7% from 2015, which could be another factor in the decline.
      Life expectancy improvements have been slowing down in the UK since 2011.
        "This slowing in improvements is reflected in the chances of surviving to age 90 years from birth, which has seen virtually no improvement since 2012 to 2014," added Sanders.
        UK-wide, roughly one in five newborn males -- 21% -- and one in three females -- 32% -- could expect to live to their 90th birthday, with this largely unchanged since 2012.
        When looking at life expectancy at the age of 65, the new data found that during 2015 and 2017, a 65-year-old male in the UK could expect to live another 18.6 years and a woman of the same age could expect an average of 20.9 further years.

        'Something seriously wrong'

        "I wasn't surprised by these findings," said Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "We've been publishing for several years reports, warning that life expectancy has been stagnating since 2015."
        McKee stated that the UK's population should "definitely" be worried about the new data.
        "Because we know that whenever life expectancy slows down or goes into reverse that this is often a sign that there is something seriously wrong. It is always a very worrying