COVID, Overdoses Drive U.S. Life Expectancy Down

  • Life expectancy in the United States is at its shortest since 1996, dragged down by an increase in COVID and drug overdose deaths, according to federal data.
  • Coronavirus caused the third-most deaths in the US in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, with only heart disease and cancer causing more.
  • Drug overdoses, which are counted among accidental injuries, were the fourth-leading cause of death.
  • There were 106,999 overdose deaths in 2021, a 16% increase from the 92,000 deaths in 2020.
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