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Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for about half the decline in 2021.
Over the course of the first two years of the pandemic, the estimated U.S. life expectancy has shorted by nearly three years.
Deaths from accidental injuries, primarily from drug overdoses, were the second largest contributor.
Other contributing factors include heart disease, suicide and chronic liver disease.
Life expectancy had risen for decades, but progress stalled before the pandemic.
While it was 78 years and 10 months in 2019, last year it fell to about 76 years and one month.
For women, it dropped about 10 months and a full year for men.
Life expectancy is the approximate number of years a baby born in a given year might expect to live, given current death rates.
The new report is based on provisional data.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.