COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Perspective from Krutika Kuppalli, MD, FIDSA
Perspective from Lewis Nelson, MD
Source:

National Vital Statistics System. Provisional life expectancy estimates for 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr015-508.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2021.

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
July 22, 2021
1 min read
Save

Life expectancy continues to decline amid COVID-19 pandemic

Perspective from Krutika Kuppalli, MD, FIDSA
Perspective from Lewis Nelson, MD
Source:

National Vital Statistics System. Provisional life expectancy estimates for 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr015-508.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2021.

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Provisional data from the CDC revealed a 1.5-year decline in life expectancy in the United States from 2019 to 2020.

An earlier report released in February estimated that life expectancy declined 1 year in the first half of 2020.

CDC
Source: National Vital Statistics System

Elizabeth Arias, PhD, a member of the statistical analysis and research team at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and colleagues estimated that life expectancy decreased from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.3 years in 2020. This is the largest 1-year decline in life expectancy since World War II, during which life expectancy declined 2.9 years between 1942 and 1943, according to the Primary Care Collaborative.

The decline in life expectancy from 2019 to 2020 was primarily due to increases in mortality from COVID-19, which contributed to 73.8% of the decline. Other contributions included unintentional injuries (11.2%), homicide (3.1%), diabetes (2.5%) and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (2.3%).

Arias and colleagues said the decline would have been even greater, but it was offset by decreases in mortality due to cancer (45.2%), chronic lower respiratory diseases (20.8%), heart disease (5.0%), suicide (4.6%) and certain conditions in the perinatal period (4.0%).

The report also showed that life expectancy declined 1.8 years among men, from 76.3 years in 2019 to 74.5 years in 2020, and 1.2 years among women, from 81.4 years in 2019 to 80.2 years in 2020.

The largest decline in life expectancy was among Hispanic men, which declined from 79 years in 2019 to 75.3 years in 2020. Overall, the life expectancy of all Hispanic patients dropped from 81.8 years to 78.8 years.

The data further showed that life expectancy dropped from 74.7 years to 71.8 years among the non-Hispanic Black population, and from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.6 years among the non-Hispanic white population.

“Mortality due to COVID-19 had, by far, the single greatest effect on the decline in life expectancy,” Arias and colleagues wrote. “Among the causes contributing negatively to the change in life expectancy, COVID-19 contributed 90% for the Hispanic population, 67.9% for the non-Hispanic white population, and 59.3% for the non-Hispanic Black population.”

References:

National Vital Statistics System. Provisional life expectancy estimates for 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr015-508.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2021.

Primary Care Collaborative. Life expectancy in the U.S. declined a year and half in 2020. https://www.pcpcc.org/2021/07/21/life-expectancy-us-declined-year-and-half-2020. Accessed July 22, 2021.