U.S. Life Expectancy Sees Uptick in 2022 After Pandemic-Induced Declines

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A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a positive shift in U.S. life expectancy in 2022, marking a rebound from the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Life Expectancy Sees Uptick in 2022 After Pandemic-Induced Declines
U.S. Life Expectancy Sees Uptick in 2022 After Pandemic-Induced Declines ( Photo: 12 News )

The CDC data discloses that U.S. life expectancy at birth rose to 77.5 years, a notable increase of 1.1 years from 2021

However, this figure remains below the 2019 level of 78.8 years. Steven Woolf, Director Emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, acknowledges the progress but notes that the nation is still recovering from the mortality setbacks experienced during the pandemic. The increase in U.S. life expectancy primarily stems from a significant decline in Covid-related deaths in 2022. Although the overall improvement is welcomed, experts stress that the U.S. lags behind other developed nations.

While unintentional injuries, including car accidents, decreased, a concerning rise in deaths from malnutrition, pneumonia, and the flu tempered the overall U.S. life expectancy increase. The study underscores the persistent challenges, such as the opioid epidemic and increasing dementia and poverty rates, affecting public health.

Perinatal mortality rates, especially among Black Americans, reveal stark racial health disparities, contributing significantly to the muted life expectancy increase

Ryan Masters, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, warns that despite the positive shift, the U.S. must address longstanding health disparities that predate the pandemic, emphasizing the need for sustained public health improvements.

 

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