Monday, January 30, 2023

COVID-19 and overdoses have reduced life expectancy in the US

Los Angeles (USA), 22 December. Average life expectancy in the United States fell for the second year in a row in 2021 to 76.4 years, the lowest level since 1996, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and drug overdoses.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detailed this Thursday that a decrease of 0.6 years compared to last year has been added to the 1.8 years registered in 2020, which means that life expectancy in the country is now longer than before. I have less than 2.4 years. Epidemic.

Nearly one in eight deaths in 2021 were due to COVID-19, an increase from the rate of one in 10 in 2020. Thus, the coronavirus was again the third cause of death last year, after heart disease and cancer.

The decline in life expectancy last year was most pronounced among American Indians and Alaska Natives with a drop of 1.9 years, while whites saw their life expectancy drop from 77.4 years in 2020 to 74.4 years in 2021.

Non-Hispanic African Americans had the third largest decline (0.7 years), going from 71.5 to 70.8 years between 2020 and 2021.

After a large four-year drop in life expectancy from 2019 to 2020, Hispanics saw a modest decrease of 0.2 years in 2021, to 77.6 years.

Life expectancy was also slightly shorter (0.1 years) for Asians, at 83.5 years, which was the longest of all the groups analyzed.

Drug overdose deaths also increased significantly during the pandemic and contributed to a decline in life expectancy, reaching a record 106,699 deaths in 2021 (an increase of about 16% compared to 91,799 in 2020).

The overdose death rate was projected to be 32.4 per 100,000 in 2021, up from 28.3 per 100,000 the previous year.

The rate of deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone (fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol-like drugs) increased from 17.8 to 21.8 per 100,000 from 2020 to 2021.

Over that period, the rate of cocaine overdose deaths increased by 22% (from 6.0 to 7.3), and a corresponding increase of 33% (7.5 to 10.0) for psychostimulants such as methamphetamine.

In contrast, the rate of heroin overdose deaths is set to drop 32%, from 4.1 in 2020 to 2.8 in 2021. EF

MSc/IM/NEB

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