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US Life Expectancy Falls To Lowest Level In 25 Years

Above photo: Twitter/@syncronus.

The COVID-19 pandemic and drug overdoses turn out to be the main causes of this decline in U.S. life expectancy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday that the average life expectancy in the U.S. today is only 76.4 years, which is lower than it has been since 1996.

The U.S. national public health agency said such a drop was seen last year, noting that in 2020 the average American was expected to live 77 years. The average has dropped by 2.4 years since 2019, according to the CDC.

In this regard, the agency said that in 2021 the U.S. recorded sharp increases in mortality rates for the second consecutive year. The CDC attributed this turn of events in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was declared a WHO public health emergency of international concern in 2020.

According to the CDC, case fatality rates increased last year for eight of the ten leading causes of death. Heart disease, the leading cause, increased by 3.3 percent, while the COVID-19 pandemic death rate soared to 22 percent.

The public health agency also referred to a 16 percent increase in 2021 in drug overdose deaths. According to the CDC, fentanyl and other opioids have been the driving factor.

In this regard, young people have been severely impacted, with overall mortality rates increasing by 10 percent in children aged 1 to 4 years and by 13 percent in those aged 25 to 34 years.

Life expectancy for U.S. males declined to 73.5 years, 0.7 years less than in 2020, while the average for females fell 0.6 years, to 79.3 years.

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