US Life Expectancy Drops By One Year

Life expectancy in America had already shown signs of stalling out in the years before the coronavirus

Other health experts say it shows the profound impact of COVID-19, not just on deaths directly due to coronavirus infections but also from heart disease, cancer and other conditions.

COVID-19 wasn't the only reason for the decrease in life expectancy. The figures for the next six months are expected to be worse.

For the report, published by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the team looked at provisional death counts from the first half of 2020 because final death counts will not be available until late 2021. Hispanic males also saw a large decrease in life expectancy, with a decline of 2.4 years.

Life expectancy at birth, considered a reliable barometer of a nation's health, has risen steadily in the United States since the middle of the 20th century. Life expectancy for Black Americans dropped a stunning 2.7 years, to 72 years old, reversing a 27-year gradual closure of the gap between white and Black life expectancy. Black men saw a three-year decline in life expectancy, while the gap between the sexes rose to 5.4 years, the most in more than two decades.

As a group, Latinos in the USA have had the most longevity and still do.

Life expectancy is how long a baby born today can expect to live, on average.

"It means life expectancy at birth is now 75.1 years for American men - a decline of 1.2 years from 2019". In the first half of last year, that was 77.8 years for Americans overall, down one year from 78.8 in 2019. It had already been known that 2020 was the deadliest year in USA history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time.

The pandemic has hit minority communities in the United States especially hard.

Worldwide, the pandemic has infected more than 110 million people.

"Life expectancy has mostly been increasing from year to year", said Arias.

The situation is more dier for people of color. But it's not the only one: a surge in drug overdose deaths are a part of the decline, too.

Black Americans were more likely to work in frontline jobs, face unemployment and lack access to healthcare, all factors which raised their risk of death, Prof Goldman said.

"The disparities between those populations have been declining consistently, since we began estimating life expectancy, which goes back to 1900", she said.

Health experts say the pandemic has created the flawless breeding ground for addiction with many turning to opioids to cope with job losses and the deaths of loved ones to the programs being canceled or replaced with telemedicine for those trying to maintain sobriety.

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