US life expectancy sees ‘massive’ decline, especially in Black and brown communities

William Brangham:

Judy, as a whole, life expectancy in the U.S. dropped by nearly two years, but for Black and brown Americans, the toll was even worse.

Among white Americans, life expectancy dropped by 1.4 years. But for Black Americans, it fell by 3.2 years, and, for Latino Americans, lifespans dropped by almost 3.9 years.

And what’s more, when you compare these declines to other similar nations, like France, Israel, or the Netherlands, the drop in the U.S. was more than eight times higher.

Dr. Steven Woolf is the lead author of the study just published in a British medical journal. He’s director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Dr. Woolf, very good to see you.

Really a striking study that you have put out. For people who don’t follow longevity trends the way you have, a nearly two-year decline in life span, how significant is that?