Nov 29, 2023 - Health

U.S. life expectancy rose in 2022 by more than a year

Data: CDC; Note: 2022 data is provisional; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: CDC; Note: 2022 data is provisional; Chart: Axios Visuals

Life expectancy in the U.S. rose by more than a year in 2022 — the first increase since the pandemic began, according to CDC data released Wednesday.

The big picture: Life expectancy — which ticked up across every racial and ethnic group — remains over a year lower than it was in 2019.

Driving the news: The 1.1-year increase over 2021 primarily came from a decline in COVID deaths, researchers said.

  • The waning pandemic drove 84% of the increase in life expectancy, an estimate of how long a baby born in a given year might expect to live.
  • Life expectancy overall was held down by deaths caused by an uptick in other ailments such as the flu, pneumonia, birth defects, kidney disease and nutritional deficiencies.

Between the lines: In 2021, COVID was the nation's third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

  • In 2022, it was fourth.
  • This year, provisional data suggests it could be ninth or death, AP notes.

Worth noting: The life expectancy numbers released by the CDC on Wednesday are provisional and could change later on.

Zoom in: While life expectancy rose for both men and women, women tend to live longer.

  • For women, life expectancy rose to 80.2 years, up 0.9 years from 2021.
  • Life expectancy for men increased by 1.3 years to 74.8 years.

Go deeper ... Study: Men in the U.S. are dying nearly six years before women

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