UPDATED 12:32 PM PT – Thursday, December 22, 2022
Life expectancy has fallen to the lowest point that the United States has seen in 26 years.
In the U.S., life expectancy has decreased in 2021 from 77 years to 76.4 years. This number is the lowest figure to have been recorded since 1996.
On Thursday, two reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics that were published showed that death rates have increased by 5.3% from 835.4 to 879.7 per 100,000.
The reports claimed that the drop in life expectancy is primarily due to COVID-19 and drug overdoses.
The leading cause of death in the United State is recorded to be heart disease, followed by cancer and COVID-19.
Changes in the top 10 leading causes of death included chronic liver disease and cirrhosis placing ninth, as well as influenza and pneumonia being removed from the top 10 list.
Eight of the top 10 causes saw an increase in death rates with COVID-19 seeing the biggest overall jump. The numbers for death contributed to the virus increased from 85 deaths in 2020 to 104.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2021.
One of the main reasons for the drop in life expectancy was approximately 460,000 deaths that were contributed to COVID-19 as well as the 106,699 overdose deaths during 2021. The overdose deaths were significantly higher from the 91,799 in 2020.
The report also noted that drug overdose related deaths accounted for approximately one third of all accidental deaths in the U.S. last year. The largest increase being in elderly people, aged 65 and older.