Life Expectancy in US Dropped to Lowest in 25 Years

Life expectancy in the US dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reveals. The leading causes of death were heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data released Thursday shows that life expectancy in 2021 was 76.4 years, a drop of 0.6 year from 2020. This is the lowest figure since 1996.

In the previous year, the decrease was even more significant 1.8 years between 2019 and 2020.

Heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19 remained the top three leading causes of death. Throughout the second year of the pandemic, the COVID-19 death rate increased by 18.8%.

Other leading causes of death were unintentional injuries, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and kidney disease.

In 2021, the life expectancy was 73.5 years for males and 79,3 years for females, a decrease of 0,7 and 0.6 years, respectively.

Drug overdose deaths are on the rise

Another report from the CDC found 106,699 people in the US died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 14% increase from 2020 through 2021.

“The rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 22%, while the rate of deaths involving heroin declined 32% between 2020 and 2021,” the report says.

While the rate of overdose drugs rose among adults 25 years and older, those aged 65 and over experienced the largest percentage increase of 28%.

Except for non-Hispanic Asian people, drug overdose deaths increased among all ethnic groups. However, the rates were highest for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) people, as it was in 2020.


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