WASHINGTON: According to preliminary government data released on Wednesday, life expectancy in the United States declined in 2021 to its lowest level since 1996, the second year of a historic decline caused by deaths from the Covid-19 virus.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the decrease in life expectancy at birth of almost one year, from 2020 to 76.1 years, was the largest two-year drop in nearly a century.
Men are now anticipated to live 73.2 years, which is nearly six years less than women, resulting in the largest gap in life expectancy between men and women in more than 20 years.
According to the data, drug overdoses and heart disease were also significant contributors to the overall decline in life expectancy last year, which was caused in part by deaths from Covid-19.
According to the CDC, Covid-19 was linked to more than 460,000 deaths in the US in 2021.
The United States saw its largest annual decline in life expectancy in 2020, with deaths from COVID accounting for nearly 75% of the decrease.
According to Robert Anderson, head of mortality statistics at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy might possibly increase slightly in 2022 because mortality has been a little better than it was in 2020.
However, due to the fact that deaths typically increase in the winter, life expectancy this year is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels and much depends on what transpires toward the end of the year, Anderson said.
Although there will be fewer suicide deaths in 2020, they were the fifth-largest factor in the overall decline in life expectancy in 2019. Men’s life expectancy has been declining, and suicide-related deaths were the third largest factor in this decline.
The agency noted that the data is preliminary and has a number of limitations, such as the variance in submission times for death certificates across different jurisdictions.