US life expectancy fell by a year in first half of 2020 amid COVID-19

Life expectancy in the US declined by a year during the first half of 2020 – to the lowest level in 15 years – due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics published Thursday shows the life expectancy at birth dropped by a year from 2019 to 77.8 years, the lowest since 2006, USA Today reported.

“These numbers are horrifying, but not unexpected,” population health expert Dr. Alexander C. Tsai told UPI.

“The last time [life expectancy] was 77.8 years was about a decade and a half ago — so that is a lot of public health progress that was erased in just six months,” said Tsai, a psychiatrist with the Center for Global Health at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital.

The decrease was even greater among blacks, whose life expectancy dropped by 2.7 years to 72 years, and Latinos,

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