HEALTH

Utah saw a decline in life expectancy during first year of COVID-19

Aug 23, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2022, 11:33 am
life expectancy decrease...
The CDC issued Thursday recommendations for use of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent vaccines to help protect Americans from COVID-19.Photo credit: Jessica McGowan/ Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah saw a decline in life expectancy during the first year of the pandemic. That’s according to new data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The study examined information regarding deaths during 2020. That is the last year in which complete information is available.

According to Laura Summers, a senior healthcare analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the life expectancy of males in Utah decreased a little more than females.

She says the life expectancy of a male in Utah was 78.4 years old in 2019. That life expectancy dropped to 77.1 years old in 2020. 

Decline in life expectancy

Summers says the life expectancy of a Utah female dropped by a year in 2020. In 2019, the life expectancy of a female was 81.9 years old, and in 2020 it dropped to 80.9 years old.

The study says that every state in the country saw a drop in life expectancy during the first year of the pandemic.

“We are definitely seeing the same phenomenon as the national numbers,” Summer said.

According to the study, Utah has one of the highest life expectancies in the nation. Summers says that’s always been the case.

“We’ve always had a higher life expectancy than nationally in terms of males and females,” she said. “Some of that has been driven by, we have a healthier population and a younger population.

Summer doesn’t expect to see an increase in life expectancy in 2021 when those numbers are released.

“My guess is COVID-19 will still be a pretty dominant factor in death rates and lowering life expectancy,” she said. 

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