The US’s Life Expectancy Drops due to Drug Overdoses and COVID-19


A new report by The American Prospect shows that the United States has a declining life expectancy for the second year in a row. Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The average American now lives to 76.4 years, a decrease of 77 years in the previous year.

COVID-19 and death from drug overdoses played a big part in the decline in life expectancy, which the CDC reports is now at it lowest since 1996.

Both men as well as women saw a decrease in life expectancies. Women fell to 79.3 years after 79.9. This increased the difference in life expectancy between men and women to 5.8 years.

The CDC report finds that the three leading causes of death remain the same as last year, with heart disease claiming the most lives followed by cancer and COVID-19.

Heart disease accounted for just over 20% of the deaths in 2021, which is almost the same as the previous year. 

The number of deaths from COVID-19 saw the biggest shift from the previous year, jumping from 350,831 deaths to 416,893 deaths.

The other leading cause of death saw an increase in deaths due to accidents, which was also up from the previous year. The fourth leading cause of death accounted for 224,935 deaths in 2021, up from 200,955 deaths the previous year.

Overdose deaths accounted to more than a quarter of accidental deaths in 2021. They have continued to rise at a rapid pace. A separate study has shown that overdose deaths have increased five-fold in the past 20 years. CDC report.

These findings continue to highlight the opioid crisis. However, overdoses of heroin that lead to death have decreased by 32% over the past year. But overdoses of synthetic opioids have increased 22%. 

More overdose deaths are still being caused by men than women. The male rate rose from 39.5 to 45.1 in comparison to the previous year. While the female rate rose from 17.1 to 19.6,

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