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CDC confirms life expectancy on the rise again

Although death rates among adults declined in 2022 as COVID-related deaths dropped, deaths among children jumped.
CDC confirms life expectancy on the rise again
Posted at 8:09 AM, Mar 21, 2024

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Thursday that life expectancy in 2022 rose to 77.5 years, which was up from 76.4 in 2021 and 77 in 2020. 

The CDC had released preliminary data in late 2023 indicating the rise. Although life expectancies are back up after taking a dip during the COVID-19 pandemic, there remain some concerning trends. 

The CDC's report indicated that there was an uptick in deaths caused by kidney diseases in 2022. There were 13.8 deaths related to kidney disease per 100,000 people in 2022, which was up from 13.6 deaths in 2021. 

The report also indicated there was a rise in infant mortality in 2022. The infant mortality rate increased 3.6% in 2022 from 2021, going from 543.6 infant deaths per 100,000 live births to 560.4. 

The report noted increases in deaths related to sudden infant death syndrome, unintentional injuries and maternal complications among infants. 

The report also noted that death rates across most age groups decreased in 2022, but there was an increase in deaths among 1-4 year olds and 5-14 year olds. The death rate among 100,000 children ages 1-4 increased from 25 in 2021 to 28 in 2022. The death rate among 5-14 year olds jumped from 14.3 in 2021 to 15.3 in 2022, among a population of 100,000 children. 

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The CDC defines life expectancy as "the expected average number of years of life remaining at a given age."

Life expectancy can vary greatly depending on a person's sex and race. American Indian and Alaska Native males had the lowest life expectancy at 64.6 years, while Asian females had the highest life expectancy at 86.3 years — a nearly 22-year spread. 

One major reason for the increase in overall life expectancy in 2022 was the sudden decrease in COVID-19-related deaths in 2022 compared to 2021. There were also improvements among heart disease, cancer, homicide and unintentional injury deaths. 

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