Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped by the most in more than 75 years in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused more deaths in the country and limited access to medical treatment.
According to a report released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2020 was 77 years, down by 1.8 years from 2019.
The decrease was “largely because of increases in mortality due to COVID-19, unintentional injuries, heart disease, homicide, and diabetes,” the report said.
CDC also found that COVID-19, newly added to the list, became the third leading cause of death in 2020. The virus had caused 10 percent of about 3.4 million deaths registered in the U.S. last year.
Deaths from other causes had also increased sharply, reflecting difficulties in accessing health services due to the pandemic-related restrictions.
The declines in life expectancy were bigger in men than in women and for Black and Hispanic Americans than White. The difference between females and males was 5.7 years, increasing a 0.6 year from 2019.
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