COVID-19 pandemic reduced life expectancy for Americans

Life expectancy in America had already shown signs of stalling out in the years before the coronavirus

But there were even greater changes among ethnic minority groups. Black people now lag white people by six years in life expectancy, reversing a trend that had been narrowing the gap since 1993.

The second largest decline in life expectancy was seen in among Hispanics, falling 1.9 years from 81.8 years to 79.9 years.

Life expectancy in America had already shown signs of stalling in the years before the coronavirus, after rising steadily for most of the period since World War II.

"Black and Hispanic communities throughout the United States have borne the brunt of this pandemic", Bibbins-Domingo said.

Life expectancy in men in the USA fell 1.2 years over the same period (from 76.3 to 75.1), while for women it declined just under a year (from 81.4 to 80.5), according to the report.

For females, life expectancy dropped to 80.5 years, a decrease of 0.9 years over 2019.

The report parallels the findings published last month by researchers at the University of Southern California and Princeton University, which found that the deaths caused by COVID-19 have reduced overall life expectancy by 1.13 years.

Overall, life expectancy for all sexes and races fell by one year, from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.7 years old in 2020. They made up about two-thirds of excess United States deaths in 2020.

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They're more likely to be in front-line, low-wage jobs and living in crowded environments where it's easier for the coronavirus to spread, and "there are stark, preexisting health disparities" that raise their risk of dying of COVID-19, she said.

Health officials say the data reflects the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a rise in deaths from drug overdoses, heart attacks and diseases that accompanied the outbreak. The figures for the next six months are expected to be worse.

The situation is more dier for people of color. Conversely, the gap between Hispanic Americans and white Americans decreased by 37%, from 3 to 1.9 years, according to the report.

The latest CDC data is based on death certificates processed during the first half of 2020. Almost 2.5 million have passed away from COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020.

Deaths from COVID-19 are the main factor in the overall drop in USA life expectancy between January and June 2020, the CDC says.

But the virus was not the only factor behind the change.

Deaths have also been increasing due to a rise in overdose fatalities.

This is a level lower than what it was in 2006, the first year for which life expectancy estimates for Hispanic Americans were produced.

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