American life expectancy has crashed to its lowest level since 1996: Here's how ... trends now
Life expectancy in the US has crashed to its lowest level since 1996, official data has revealed.
The average American born in 2021 can expect to live to 76.4 years, according to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report published this week.
In comparison, the average child born in 2014 was thought to live to 78.9 years and in 2019, 78.8.
It is the second consecutive year that life expectancy in the US has fallen, after tumbling to 77.0 years in 2020. It is now at its lowest level since 1996, when it was 76.1 years. Before 2019, life expectancy was rising.
Covid-19 was the main driving force for the plunge, the CDC reported.
In 2021, the virus was the third leading cause of death in the country, behind heart disease and cancer - which continue to hold top spots as the most common causes of death.
Increases in suicides and homicides, plus a five-fold increase in drug overdose deaths over the past decade - fueled by a rise in fentanyl contamination - have also contributed to the decline.
The CDC used the National Center for Health Statistics life tables to calculate life expectancy.
Life tables show how many more years a person is expected to live for, depending on the year in which they were born.
Almost a quarter of the world's population will be obese in less than 30 years, according to research published in May.
If obesity trends continue, 22 per cent of people around the world will be severely overweight by 2045, up from 14 per cent last year, a study found.
One in eight people, rather than today's one in 11, are also expected to develop type 2 diabetes, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Alan Moses, from the Denmark-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, said: 'These numbers underline the staggering challenge the world will face in the future in terms of numbers of people who are obese, or have type 2 diabetes, or both.
'As well as the medical challenges these people will face, the costs to countries' health systems will be enormous.'
People with type 2 diabetes have an average life expectancy of just 55 due to them being at a much higher risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.