LOS ANGELES, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. life expectancy disadvantage began in the 1950s and has steadily worsened over the past four decades, according to a new study.
The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, shows more than 50 countries have surpassed the United States in life expectancy since 1933. Growth in U.S. life expectancy was slowest in Midwest and South Central states.
The country's life expectancy problem gained renewed attention in recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing the largest drop since World War II.
U.S. life expectancy dropped to 76.1 years in 2021, according to data of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lowest since 1996.
"The scale of the problem is bigger than we ever thought ... older than we thought, (and) the number of countries outperforming the United States is much larger than we thought," said study author Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.