Life expectancy in the United States last year dropped to its lowest point in a quarter century, and it's not all because of Covid.
Last year saw a 5% decline in life expectancy for Americans, dropping to under 77 years of age.
And while some experts want to try to tie the drop to Covid-19, the numbers reveal that there's much more at work here than people being killed by the China Virus. There's another epidemic that is killing Americans at an alarming rate: The Opioid Epidemic.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 was the third-leading cause of death for a second consecutive year in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, and a rising number of drug-overdose deaths also dragged down life expectancy. Overdose deaths have risen fivefold over the past two decades.
The death rate for the U.S. population increased by 5%, cutting life expectancy at birth to 76.4 years in 2021 from 77 years in 2020. The CDC in August released preliminary estimates demonstrating a similar decline. Before the pandemic, in 2019, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 78.8 years. The decline in 2020 was the largest since World War II.
While the drop coincides with the Covid pandemic, the increased numbers aren't caused by the disease alone.
The leading cause of death in the US is still heart disease and cancer.
Then there's the opioid epidemic.
The country during the pandemic has recorded more than 1.2 million excess deaths, which is a measure of all deaths beyond prior-year averages and can represent both undercounted Covid-19 deaths and collateral damage from other causes, including more overdoses. The CDC put the final count for 2021 overdose deaths at about 106,700, a record that is 16% higher than the prior year. The final count differs from a preliminary count for last year that topped 108,000 because the CDC in its final counts doesn't include overdose deaths that occurred among non-U. S. residents.
Opioid deaths increased because of lockdowns.
People locked in their homes are more likely to have heart disease.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of people missed cancer screenings and got lesser treatment thanks to lockdowns.
As we covered here at NTB recently, the excess deaths we are seeing aren't because of Covid, but the lockdowns.