Life expectancy in the United States was on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic struck, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported Tuesday.
For the second consecutive year, Americans’ life expectancy rose in 2019, according to the report “Mortality in the United States: 2019.”
That’s despite an increase in drug overdose deaths and a record high of 2.85 million deaths, 15,633 more than the total in 2018.
“The age-adjusted death rate for the entire U.S. population decreased by 1.2% from 723.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2018 to 715.2 in 2019,” NCHS reported.
“As a result, life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population increased 0.1 year from 2018 to 78.8 years in 2019.”
This was largely due to a decline in mortality from cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia, suicide, and stroke, the report said.
Life expectancy increased for both men and women. Men gained 0.1 year from 76.2 in 2018 to 76.3 in 2019, while women gained 0.2 years from 81.2 years in 2018 to 81.4 years in 2019, the report found.
Final life expectancy and death rate data for 2020 is not yet available, but will reflect the mortality toll from the pandemic, the CDC said. More than 319,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US.