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Study shows coronavirus will lower US life expectancy by more than a year

Study shows coronavirus will lower US life expectancy by more than a year
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The coronavirus pandemic has lowered the U.S. average life expectancy by more than a year in 2020, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

The study projects that life expectancy decreased by 1.13 years in 2020 after the coronavirus took the lives of more than 300,000 Americans.

Black and Latino populations' life expectancies decreased significantly compared to white populations, according to the study. White life expectancy was projected to drop by 0.68 years, while Black life expectancy was projected to drop by 2.10 years and Latino life expectancy by 3.05 years. 

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Since the start of the pandemic, Black and Latino communities have been disproportionately effected by the coronavirus both financially and in their personal health. Black residents have a higher death rate and make up a higher share of the coronavirus cases compared to the general population, according to the COVID Tracking Project

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this year that Black Americans are three times as likely to die from coronavirus as white Americans. 

The study suggested that the reason for a disproportionate decrease in life expectancy could be due to economic factors. 

These groups are more likely than Whites to hold low-paying jobs with little autonomy, often in industries that have suffered the largest job losses during the pandemic, creating exceptionally high unemployment rates for both groups and likely loss of health insurance,” the authors said.  

The pandemic has undone much of the progress the U.S. was making to improve life expectancy among the general population. Life expectancy increased about 10 years in the last 50 years, according to CNN. In 1959, the life expectancy was 69.9, and in 2016 life expectancy was up to 78.9. 

The coronavirus has also undone work to close the life expectancy gap between Black and white populations. The study said that their projections indicated an increase in nearly 40 percent in the Black-white expectancy gap. 

News of the study comes as the United States continues to grapple with the coronavirus, even as two vaccine candidates have been made available to some priority groups. The country has recorded a record number of deaths over the past week, with the U.S. clocking more than 3,900 deaths on Thursday alone, according to The New York Times