U.S. Life Expectancy Makes Post-Pandemic Rise

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- With fewer Americans dying from COVID in 2022, U.S. life expectancy rebounded a bit from declines experienced during the pandemic.

According to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths for 2022, the average American can now expect to live 77.5 years, "an increase of 1.1 years from 2021."

However, "this increase does not fully offset the loss of 2.4 years of life expectancy between 2019 and 2021," when the pandemic held the nation in its grip, the report's authors noted.

About 84% of the credit for the upsurge in life expectancy lies in the fact that fewer Americans died of COVID-19 in 2022 compared to during the pandemic.

American men gained an average 1.3 years in expected life span in 2022, and a man's average life expectancy is now 74.8 years, the report found.

That's still 5.4 years behind the the average life expectancy of U.S. women. In 2022, American females could expect to live to 80.2 years, on average. Women regained 0.9 years of their average life expectancy in 2022, the CDC data showed.

Minorities, who were hit hardest during the pandemic, saw the biggest gains in life expectancy in 2022, the report noted.

For example, Hispanic American males saw an average increase in life expectancy of 2.4 years; Black males and females gained 1.5 years; and American Indians/Alaskan Natives gained 2.3 years, on average.

Even if COVID-19 has receded as a major cause of death among Americans, other infections still take a deadly toll, the CDC noted.

The report's authors said that "the [2022] increase in life expectancy would have been even greater if not for the offsetting effects of increases in mortality due to influenza and pneumonia" in 2022, as well as increases in deaths to babies due to "perinatal conditions."

The report was published Nov. 29 as a Vital Statistics Rapid Release by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

More information

There's more on U.S. life expectancy in comparison to other countries at KFF.

SOURCE: Provisional Life Expectancy Estimates for 2022, November 2023, National Center for Health Statistics

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