US CDC: Drug Overdose and COVID-19 Drive Life Expectancy to Lowest level in 25 years


According to the most recent mortality data that were released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy in the United States decreased for the second year in a row in 2021, falling to the lowest level it had been since 1996.

The decline in life expectancy, which is now nearly two and a half years lower than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, was largely caused by Covid-19. Life expectancy in the United States fell to 76.4 years in 2021, down 0.6 years from the previous year, following a decrease of 1.8 years in 2020.

Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, said that, what they are seeing in terms of the patterns of mortality, it is being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the drop is substantial, and it is not necessarily surprising.

The final mortality data are less severe than anticipated by earlier estimates, and according to preliminary data, life expectancy may have decreased by nearly a full year in 2021. However, life expectancy typically only changes by 0.1 or 0.2 years, so it is still historic.

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Covid-19 was the cause of nearly 1 in 8 deaths in 2021, up from about 1 in 10 deaths in 2020. It was once more the third most common cause of death, with cancer and heart diseases, and these three factors accounted for around 50% of all deaths in 2021.

During the pandemic, drug overdose deaths also significantly increased, reaching record levels in 2021. Almost 107,000 individuals passed on from a medication glut in 2021, driving the age-changed demise rate for gluts up over 14% in one year and half throughout the course of recent years.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said that these data are very tragic but not surprising, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of the social stressors that make people more likely to use drugs and amplified an already devastating overdose crisis.


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