Life expectancy in Louisiana drops by nearly three years
Louisiana ranks 49th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of life expectancy. That’s according to the latest data from the CDC, which indicates that Louisiana’s life expectancy in 2020 was 73 years, down from nearly three years in 2019. Dr. Benjamin Springgate, chief of community medicine and of populations at LSU Health, says the pandemic has played a significant role in lower life expectancies…
“The change in the most recent data is of course the number of deaths associated with covid 19 as well as the number of overdose deaths that have called for every state to see a drop in life expectancy,” Springgate says.
He says the increase is due to a combination of COVID deaths, poor health care and drug-related deaths. He says the increase in drug-related deaths is linked to the opioid crisis and the stressors caused by the COVID pandemic.
“People losing their jobs or access to their health care provider at different times and access to their support networks also put considerable pressure on people who were at risk of dying from an overdose,” says- he.
Springgate recommends the state invest more in access to preventive treatment, which is far more cost-effective than shutting down emergency rooms.
“It’s cheaper to prevent disease from the start than trying to cure someone when they’re in intensive care,” he says, but adds that it’s not all bad news. He says expanding access to insurance and health care means Louisiana is definitely making progress. He thinks Louisiana is slowly moving in the right direction.