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Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

COVID-19 deaths were associated with a decline in U.S. life expectancy by more than a year in 2020, according to new research published Thursday.

Driving the news: The study, published in the journal, JAMA Network Open, found that people of color were disproportionately impacted. Compared to white people, the reduction in life expectancy is three times larger for Latinos and twice as large for Black people.

By the numbers: 2020 life expectancy in the U.S. fell overall from 78.74 years to 77.43 years, per researchers' estimates: a decline of 1.13 years for the total population, 0.68 for white people, 2.10 for Black people and 3.05 for Latinos.

  • Latinos had the largest life expectancy decline associated with the coronavirus.
    • "This unprecedented change likely stems from social and economic inequities that are associated with both higher exposure to infection and higher fatality among those infected," researchers noted, citing Latinos' low rates of health care insurance, greater likelihood to live in multigenerational households and language barriers.
  • The decrease in life expectancy has continued in 2021. COVID-19 deaths through early April 2021 "already indicate an almost 0.6-year reduction in overall 2021 U.S. life expectancy with continued disproportionate changes for the Black and Latino populations."
  • Researchers pulled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Statistics System and the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate their estimates.

Worth noting: A different study published Wednesday in the medical journal, The BMJ, said that COVID took a much greater toll on U.S. life expectancy compared to other high-income nations.

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Oct 1, 2021 - Health

Louisiana health system to charge employees with unvaccinated partners

Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The largest health care system in Louisiana will charge its employees $200 a month if a spouse or domestic partner covered under its health plan is not vaccinated against the coronavirus, NOLA reports.

Why it matters: The new rule, which will take effect in 2022, comes as the vast majority of coronavirus patients who end up hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Oct 2, 2021 - Health

U.S. hits 700,000 COVID deaths

People walk through "In America: Remember," a public art installation commemorating all of the Americans who have died due to COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

The U.S. surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: A summer of division over vaccine and masking mandates only added to the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. The U.S. went from 600,000 deaths to 700,000 in the span of three-and-a-half months.