US Life Expectancy Climbs in 2022 Despite Record-High Suicide Deaths

Provisional CDC data released Wednesday showed that US babies born in 2022 gained roughly a year in life expectancy, the first increase after 2 consecutive years of declines, according to Reuters. Life expectancy at birth for 2022 newborns was 77.5 years, which is up from 76.4 years in 2021. The CDC noted that newborn life expectancy is still lower than the 78.8 years expected for those born in 2019, but it will take some time to get back to prepandemic levels. Despite this increase, CNN explained that new CDC data also showed an increase in suicide deaths as 2022 had the most suicides of any other year on record. At least 49,449 lives were lost due to suicide in 2022, equating to more than 14 deaths for every 100,000 people; men were about 4 times more likely than women to die by suicide.

COVID-19 Caused Spike in Preterm Births, Birth Records Show

A study published Tuesday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly raised the risk of preterm birth for expectant California mothers, according to CIDRAP. To conduct the study, researchers analyzed California birth records and compared sibling births; they compared outcomes of women who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of birth to unaffected prior births. As a result, the researchers found COVID-19 infection during pregnancy increased preterm birth probability from 7.1% to 8.4%. They found that vaccination likely prevented thousands of preterm births; within 1 year of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, the risk disappeared in areas reporting high vaccination coverage. This suggested vaccination was a key strategy in mitigating preterm birth risks caused by COVID-19 and reinforced the importance of maternal COVID-19 vaccination.

About 4 Million New Yorkers Impacted by Medical Company Data Breach

New York Attorney General Letitia James said about 4 million residents were affected by a data breach of the medical transcription company Perry Johnson & Associates, according to CBS News. The company said it became aware of the data breach in May 2023, and the breached data included patients’ insurance information, clinical information, and social security numbers. The data breach impacted residents in New York City and Syracuse as it affected Northwell Health and Crouse Health; most of those impacted have been notified. James told impacted residents to take action to prevent identity theft, including monitoring their credit, informing their insurance company, and contesting unrecognized medical billing.

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