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CDC headquarters in Atlanta

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The CDC reports life expectancy in the United States has fallen for the second year in a row, its lowest since 1996, and the reason might surprise you.

The past few years have been hard on everyone in the United States and across the globe. With COVID-19, Monkey Pox, and additional illnesses present, we’re far removed from car crashes being the leading cause of death among Americans. Sadly the Center For Disease Control and Prevention has reported life expectancy in the United States has dipped for the second year in a row thanks to new challenges.

Life Expectancy Drops For The Second Year In A Row According To The CDC

According to a new report from the CDC, the U.S. Life Expectancy decreased in 2021 for the second consecutive year. The drop was primarily due to increases in COVID-19 and drug overdose deaths.

The death rate for the entire U.S. population increased by 5.3% from 835.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 2020 to 879.7 in 2021. As a result, life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population decreased from 77 years in 2020 to 76.4 years in 2021.

The 10 leading causes of death in 2021 were largely unchanged from 2020, except chronic liver disease and cirrhosis became the 9th leading cause of death in 2021 while influenza and pneumonia dropped from the list of 10 leading causes. Heart disease remained the leading cause of death in the United States, followed by cancer and COVID-19.

A second report released today, “Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2001-2021,” showed that overdose deaths, which account for more than a third of all accidental deaths in the United States, have risen five-fold over the past two decades. The official number of drug overdose deaths among residents in the United States for 2021 was 106,699, nearly 16% higher than the 91,799 deaths in 2020.

Even if COVID-19 isn’t at the front of the news cycle, it’s still taking lives daily and the fentanyl crisis mixed with the virus is taking more Americans than ever before.


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