A drop in life expectancy in the U.S. between 2018 and 2020 was the largest recorded since World War II, according to a study published Thursday.
The study published in the British Medical Journal analyzed the change in life expectancy at birth, and at ages 25 and 65 in the U.S. The data was additionally disaggregated by sex, race and ethnicity to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the minorities.
Decreases in life expectancy during 2020 were much larger in the United States than in other high income countries, particularly among Hispanic and Black Americans, finds a study published by @bmj_latest today https://t.co/8y91YrkOGy
— BMJ (@bmj_company) June 24, 2021
“Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries,” the study says.
The pandemic is said to have widened the gap in life expectancy between the U.S. and other high income countries, bringing the difference to 4.69 years. (RELATED: Americans Are Dying Younger, Study Shows)
The authors of the study say that “pronounced losses” were borne by racial minority groups, with life expectancy declining by 3.88 in Hispanic and 3.25 in Non-Hispanic Black populations. The Non-Hispanic White community saw a 1.36 years decrease, the study shows.
“For decades, the U.S. has been losing ground in life expectancy to other wealthy nations, and these findings show that the gap widened even more due to Covid-19,” former acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Richard Besser said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“The study further confirms that how long people live in the United States depends in large part on income, skin color, and geography. We must use this moment to correct the mistakes of the past and create a fairer and more just future,” he added.