Life expectancy in the US fell by a full year in the first half of 2020, latest estimates show.
Experts say the growing coronavirus pandemic is behind the drop to 77.8 years.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said the decline means life expectancy at birth is now 75.1 years for American men – a fall of 1.2 years from 2019. For women, life expectancy is 80.5 years after it fell by almost a year.
“This is a huge decline,” Dr Robert Anderson, the CDC’s chief of mortality statistics, told the Associated Press.
The figures show there was a significant difference among ethnic minority groups.
Black men suffered the largest decline, with life expectancy dropping by three years between January and June 2020.
And Hispanic men saw a fall in life expectancy of 2.4 years during that period. The fall among Hispanic women was lower, at 1.1 years.
Dr Anderson said: “You have to go back to World War Two, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.”
The figures are available here.