• Ichiro Kawachi


July 12, 2023, Paper: "Life expectancy at birth in the US has sharply decreased from 78.8 years in 2019 to 76.1 years in 2021, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the country’s life expectancy back to the levels of 1996.1 Differences in the decrease in life expectancy between racial and ethnic groups have also been observed.2,3 Even before the pandemic, life expectancy in the US had been decreasing for 3 consecutive years since 2015, contrary to the trend observed in all other developed countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.4 This phenomenon has been associated largely with the increase in mortality among middle-aged non-Hispanic White individuals (hereafter, White) in the US since 1999.5 Case and Deaton6,7 coined the term deaths of despair to describe the contributing causes of mortality, namely, deaths from suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug overdose (the opioid crisis in the US). These cause-specific deaths are also trending high among non-Hispanic Black (hereafter, Black) and Hispanic populations in recent years8,9 and even continued to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic."