Life Expectancy In The United States Declining After The Pandemic

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : July 22, 2021

The covid-19 outbreak in the United States and the rest of the world has not only resulted in an appalling loss of lives. There have been past pandemics, the most recent being the Spanish Flu of 1918. The current pandemic has not only claimed 609,000 lives in the United States but has also caused lower life expectancy among Americans, slightly more for colored Americans. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) in the United States has revealed a study report where it was found that a reduction in life expectancy was observed.

Life Expectancy In The United States Declining After The Pandemic

The average life expectancy in the United States has dropped from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.3 years at present. Life expectancy was found lower in the Hispanic and black ethnic groups. In order to arrive at this conclusion, the CDC used data from the National Vital statistics system which analyzed the records of the 363,087 Covid-19 related deaths that occurred in the United States between 04 April to 26 December 2020.

Life Expectancy In The United States Declining After The Pandemic

The age groups considered were less than 25 years, 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75-84, and more than 85 years. The ethnic groups that were considered for the study were Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic Asian, non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian, and natives from Pacific Islands.

The results showed that life expectancy had reduced by 0.94 years for American and non-Hispanic whites. The largest reduction in life expectancy of 3.03 years was found to be among Latin Americans followed by a reduction of 1.9 years for Black Americans. The results were surprising as life expectancy was originally the highest among Latin Americans in spite of their adverse living conditions and inferior sanitation.

The CDC, however, admitted that the results may show a disproportionate decrease in life expectancy due to factors such as lesser medical care after being infected. Another possible cause for lower life expectancy in ethnic groups is the higher risk of infection due to inferior living conditions.

Such a drop in life expectancy had not been seen since the time of the second world war. A study of the drop in life expectancy among blacks is the highest since 1999. 

Age-wise analyses of the age groups revealed a stark difference. While there were more deaths above the age of 85 years for whites, there were more deaths below the age of 75 years in the Hispanic and black American groups. 

The results also attribute 11% of the drop in life expectancy due to accidents and unintentional injuries. Another major cause was drug overdose which rose by 30% during the pandemic. The results showed a drop in life expectancy by 1.8 years for males and 1.2 years for females.   

Covid-19 was still the third highest cause of deaths in the United States during this period after diabetes, liver infection, and homicides. 

The CDC admitted the need for preventive measures and more medical research to not just find an effective cure for the Corona Virus but to prevent repeated mutations of the virus causing periodic surges in cases of infected people and to find ways to restore the immunity of fellow Americans and increase their life expectancy. 

More detailed studies have shown an epidemiological shift of cause of diseases and shorter life expectancy has been from infectious diseases and chronic illnesses to degenerative diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift to degenerative diseases as the major health concern.

The CDC press release said that the CDC and the health care system of the United States have taken note of the findings and the need to bring about major changes in Health care systems. 

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Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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