U.S. life expectancy falls by nearly a year in 2021

Onelifespan of mericans continue slip in 2021. Theo temporary data from the National Center for Health Statistics announced on August 31, life expectancy has decreased by 0.9 years in 2021, resulting in a total decrease of about 2.7 years from 2019 to 2021 – a decrease of two years biggest in a century.

Again, COVID-19 is the main cause of Americans dying younger, accounting for 50% of the decline. However, other causes of death – including drug overdoses, heart disease and liver disease – also surged, hinting at the devastating effects the pandemic has had on society.

The average life expectancy of a person born in 2021 is 76.1 years, down from 77 years in 2020. The rate of decline is more in men than in women; life expectancy for men is 73.2 years old, down from 2020 compared to 2020 and 79.1 years old for women, down 0.8 years old.

The reduction in life expectancy is not inevitable, especially after Vaccines against covid-19 Andrew Stokes, an assistant professor in the department of global health at Boston University’s School of Public Health. In fact, many rich countries — including most West Europe—Offset in 2021 after life expectancy declines in 2020 — while some countries, like Australia, see no decline. “The United States is an exception,” said Stokes. “In a highly functioning public health and healthcare system, one would expect a recovery due to widespread access to vaccines.”

Without the COVID-19 vaccine, life expectancy could decrease even further. About 1.1 million more people in the US will likely die from COVID-19 between December 12, 2020 and November 21, 2021, according to the Commonwealth Fund. estimate. The virus also indirectly increases risk factors for other conditions, including disrupting health care systems and people’s lives.

In particular, researchers have warned that the pandemic puts people at higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. COVID-19 has put a strain on the US healthcare system, leading to rampant staff shortages, while patients delay both routine doctor visits and trips to the hospital. . More directly, infection with SARS-CoV-2 can hurt the heart, and is thought to have increased the patient’s risk of death.

Substances such as alcohol and drug is also a major health threat during pandemics. The number of deaths due to drug use increased sharply, increasing by 15% to about 107,622 estimated deaths between 2020 and 2021, especially among Blacks, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. The increase in the prevalence of illicit use of fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opiate, which is associated with approximately 66% of overdose deaths, is thought to be a major contributing factor. Researchers believe the pandemic makes substance use more dangerous by adding to isolation and worsening mental health, as well as disrupting patients’ access to treatment and health care programs. Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis — both of which can be caused by alcohol use — contributed to 18.6% of the decline in life expectancy.

Blacks, Hispanics, and Indigenous peoples experienced the largest total declines in life expectancy from 2019 to 2021. The worst declines in both years were in Native Americans and Alaskans. : 1.9 years from 2020 to 2021, resulting in a total decrease of 6.6 years from 2019.

However, in 2021, white people also experience a significant decrease in life expectancy: one year. This compares with Blacks (0.7 in a year) and Hispanics (0.1 in a year). This is not because of improved conditions for Black and Hispanic communities, Stokes emphasized; rather, it’s because more whites die. COVID-19 causes 54.1% of the decline in life expectancy for whites. Much of this, says Stokes, is because the Delta wave has killed younger people and affected more rural areas – places with weaker health care systems, lower vaccination rates and more people. whiter, although the average age of death for whites increased higher. in Omicron waves.

“I think it’s fair to say that at least part of the [U.S.’s] poor performance is due to lackluster healthcare response and lack of absorption Stokes said. “Things could have been different if we had had a more rigorous public health response.”

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