COVID-19 has exacerbated a troubling U.S. health trend: premature deaths.

by Bruce Bower | Mar. 5, 2021 |

There is no good time for a pandemic, but COVID-19 hit the United States as a public health crisis was well under way.

The novel coronavirus has exacerbated already rising death rates among Americans in the prime of their lives, a new report concludes. Especially hard-hit are racial minorities and people of all races with low incomes and a high school education or less.

The report, released March 2 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, provides the most comprehensive look at premature deaths in the United States to date. A picture is emerging of how the interplay of known and often preventable risk factors, including rising rates of opioid overdoses and obesity, is contributing to declining U.S. life expectancy (SN: 12/21/17).

Since the 1990s, drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides and obesity-related conditions have resulted in the deaths of nearly 6.7 million U.S. adults ages 25 to 64, a 12-member committee finds. Mortality rates from those causes tended to accelerate in the 2010s. Aftershocks of the sharp economic recession in 2008 may have contributed to that development, the report suggests. …read more»

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