Arkansas doctors not surprised by life expectancy drop

According to final mortality data released last week, life expectancy decreased in 2021 for the...
According to final mortality data released last week, life expectancy decreased in 2021 for the second consecutive year. This is the lowest it has been since 1996.(KPTV)
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 8:56 PM CST
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) – A new report from the CDC shows life expectancy in the U.S. is continuing to drop.

According to final mortality data released last week, life expectancy decreased in 2021 for the second consecutive year. This is the lowest it has been since 1996.

The drop was primarily due to increases in COVID-19 and drug overdose deaths, something not surprising to doctors in Arkansas.

“We’ve had just a tremendous number of deaths related to Covid,” said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Director of the Arkansas Department of Health. “It’s quite expected that the life expectancy has decreased in the U.S.”

“Access to treatments suddenly dropped,” said Dr. Nihit Kumar, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UAMS. “There was a lot more telemedicine, us providers were a lot more lenient with medication.”

You can hear more reactions and reasons behind the drop by reading this story on content partner KARK’s website.