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World US life expectancy fell by a year during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the most dramatic drop since World War II

15:48  18 february  2021
15:48  18 february  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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Life expectancy in the US fell by a full year in the first half of 2020, a change experts say was fuelled by the growing coronavirus pandemic . The life expectancy for the entire population dropped to 77.8 years , according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control. "This is a huge decline," Dr Robert Anderson, the CDC's Chief of Mortality Statistics, told the Associated Press. But there were even greater changes among ethnic minority groups. Black men suffered the largest decline, with life expectancy dropping by three years between January and June 2020. And Hispanic men saw a fall

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a person holding a flower: A medic leaves a house in Everett, Massachusetts. A medic leaves a house in Everett, Massachusetts.
  • Average life expectancy in the US fell from 78.8 to 77.8 years in the first half of 2020, per the CDC.
  • The data is based on deaths from various causes, but shows the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken.
  • Black and Hispanic Americans saw larger drops than white Americans, the CDC said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The life expectancy of the average American fell by one year in the first few months of 2020 â€" the most dramatic drop since World War II â€" showing the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The life expectancy fell to 77.8 years from 78.8 in the same period in 2019, the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention said in a Thursday report.

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"This is a huge decline," Robert Anderson, who monitors life expectancy for the CDC, told the Associated Press. "You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this."

The report is based on data collected on deaths that occurred during the first six months of 2020, and includes deaths from COVID-19 and other causes of deaths, such as drug overdoses, the CDC said. Nonetheless, the data shows the deadly toll the pandemic has taken on Americans.

When broken down, the data highlighted the "worsening of racial and ethnic mortality disparities" in the US, the CDC said. Here's what it found:


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  • The life expectancy of non-Hispanic Black Americans dropped an average 2.7 years, from 74.7 years to 72 years.
  • The average life expectancy of a Black male American dropped by three years.
  • The life expectancy of the Hispanic population dropped 1.9 years, from 81.8 years to 79.9 years.
  • The life expectancy of white Americans dropped 0.8 years.

"Those are very large disparities, and it reflects that the pandemic affected these two minority groups much more than the majority population," Elizabeth Arias, a lead author of the paper, told The Washington Post. "They experienced the bulk of the mortality."

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Although COVID - 19 is like nothing most of us have ever experienced before, pandemics are nothing new. Pandemics have played a role in shaping human history throughout the ages. Few people reading this today will remember outbreaks on this scale, but history shows us that although it is Since the early 1980s, HIV has claimed the lives of more than 32 million people. At the end of 2018, around 37.9 million people were living with HIV. Although HIV is also caused by a virus, there are significant differences between the two current pandemics ; the most obvious being their means of transmission.

Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID - 19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession. By Rakesh Kochhar. City employees hand out unemployment applications on April 8, 2020, in Hialeah, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images). The COVID - 19 outbreak and the economic downturn it engendered swelled the ranks of unemployed Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020. As a result, the U . S . unemployment rate shot up from 3.8% in February – among the lowest on record in the post- World War II era – to 13.0% in May.

During the pandemic, Black and Hispanic communities have been far harder hit on average than white communities.

For example, between February and July 2020, Black people aged between 35 and 44 saw death rates nine times higher than white people in the same age bracket, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, a professor of health and human rights at Harvard University, told The New York Times.

The CDC report added that the life expectancy of men across all ethnic groups declined slightly more than that of women, dropping by 1.2 years and 0.9 years respectively.

a group of people wearing costumes: White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Life expectancies had been rising for all ethnic groups in the past decade. Between 2018 and 2019, the average life expectancy rose by 0.1 year, CDC data shows.

The life expectancy of the average American also took a hit the last time the country experienced a pandemic.

Between 1917 to 1918, amid the Spanish Flu pandemic, the average life span of an American dropped 11.8 years to 39 years, Arias told The New York Times.

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This is interesting!