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US life expectancy improved in 2022, but child deaths rose, and drug overdoses were deadlier than ever

·1 min


Life Expectancy in the US Rebounds in 2022, but Concerns Remain #

Life expectancy in the United States increased by 1.1 years in 2022, thanks to a decline in death rates from COVID-19 and other leading causes. However, deaths among children rose, and drug overdoses reached record levels. The rebound only offsets less than half of the life expectancy lost during the first two years of the pandemic, leaving life expectancy lower than it has been in two decades. Heart disease and cancer remain the top causes of death in the US, with heart disease ranking first and COVID-19 falling to fourth place. Despite the increase in life expectancy, the US continues to have lower life expectancy compared to peer countries. A concerning trend is the rising death rate among children, which poses a risk to their survival. Additionally, drug overdoses accounted for a significant number of deaths, reaching an all-time high in 2022. Scaling up evidence-based interventions and improving access to care are necessary to reduce the harm caused by drug overdoses.