The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Thursday released statistics showing that overall life expectancy fell by a full year in the first half of 2020, the biggest drop since World War II.
Interim data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics for January through June 2020 indicates that minorities have suffered the greatest impact, with black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics losing almost two years.
Health officials say the data reflects the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an increase in deaths from drug overdoses, heart attacks and illnesses that accompanied the outbreak.
After 4 years of decline, life expectancy in the United States is increasing a bit
Suicides and deaths from influenza and pneumonia increased, but deaths from cancer and drug overdose slightly decreased
The CDC calculates life expectancy based on the average lifespan of a baby born today. Statistics show that, overall, in the first half of last year, it was 77.8 years for all Americans, down one year from 78.8 in 2019. for men it was 75.1 years and for women it was 80.5 years.
The CDC says the last time life expectancy at birth fell more dramatically was during World War II. The CDC says, based on the latest figures, that U.S. residents can now expect to live as long as they did in 2006.
Life expectancy at birth, considered a reliable barometer of a nation’s health, has been rising steadily in the United States since the mid-20th century. It was already known that 2020 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, with deaths surpassing 3 million for the first time.
The only good news in the report is that life expectancy generally rebounds quickly, due to the way it is calculated. Health experts said when the coronavirus pandemic abated in the United States, they expected it to happen.
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