New research estimates life expectancy in US reduced due to COVID

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jun 24, 2021

Two new studies estimate that life expectancy in the U.S. was reduced by more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a study published in the peer-review journal British Medical Journal, researchers found that the average life expectancy in 2018 was about 79 years. Still, they declined to about 77 years by the end of 2020.

According to the JAMA Network Open Journal, the virus shortened life expectancy for the Latino population by 3.05 years, 2.10 years for Black Americans, and 0.94 years for the white population.

These are updated estimates that researchers projected in October when they estimated life expectancy to decline in 2020 by 1.13 years for the overall population in the U.S., 3.03 years for the Latino population, 1.90 years for the Black population, and 0.68 years for the white population.

"The change in life expectancy among the Black population was smaller than projected but remained much larger than that for the white population," researchers said in the study. "The differences are likely partly due to the changing geography of the outbreak: since our October projections, Midwestern and Mountain states with large white populations experienced surges in COVID-19 cases and deaths. A minor change in estimates resulted from using 2018 rather than 2017 for the absent COVID-19 scenario."

The researchers noted that the Latino population had a seven-year advantage in life expectancy before the pandemic compared to the Black population and a three-year advantage over the white population.

Researchers added that the Latino population had "the largest life expectancy decline associated with COVID-19."