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The Pandemic has Reduced Average Life Expectancy in the US

The average life expectancy in the US has reduced by one year after the country was exposed to this global pandemic. According to health experts from minorities are the worst hit by this pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports Black Americana have lost three years and Hispanics have lost two years in their average life expectancies.

This is indeed a huge decline that is witnessed for the first time in so many decades, and probably the last decrease in life expectancy was experienced in World War II, back in the 1940s. The health experts believe it is not just because of the Covid-19 deaths but the overall effect of a pandemic that has lead millions of people to contract heart diseases, stress-disorders, cancer, and many other issues which have reduced years from their lives.

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What’s more worrying regarding this decrease in life expectancy by the pandemic is that it is based on the data from the first wave of coronavirus in the country. After spending nearly one year in this pandemic, there are high chances that the situation has gone worst.

This is the first-ever report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluating the effects of a pandemic on average life expectancy in an average American. And this report is made using partial data and death records, from the first half of the pandemic. The year 2020 was one of the deadliest phases in entire US history where it experienced nearly 3 million deaths in one year.

Life expectancy means the estimate on how long does a person born at a specific time will live. Last year, the life expectancy was recorded 77.8 years for all Americans which is one year less than the life expectancy estimated in 2019. This average life expectancy was 75.1 years in men and 80.5 years in women.

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Hispanics, a minority in the US still have the highest life expectancy but Blacks are lagging behind by six years, changing the trends which were reported in 1993. The situation between 2019 and 2020 has changed a lot and overall the country has reported 2.7 years less in average life expectancy for Black people, caused by the pandemic. It has also decreased by 1.9 years in Hispanic communities and 0,8 years in white communities. However, this is only a preliminary report which doesn’t explain the changes in the Asian population in the US or Native Americans.

It appears that Black, as well as Hispanic communities, are the worst hit by this pandemic. Not only they are more subjected to the limited job market and wages, but also healthcare facilities. Plus, the disparities in the US healthcare system have become much more clear during this pandemic which probably explains why these minorities are more likely to die of Covid-19 or any other public health crisis.

It is high time for the health departments to make vaccine distribution fair and equitable for all ethnic groups. Saving everyone from the virus will probably control the new cases and also provide these groups a relief.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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