A sign on a downtown Portland business door tells customers a face mask is required for entry on Dec. 9, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

COVID-19 shaved nearly two years off the lives of American adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed on Wednesday.

Life expectancy in the United States is now at 77 years old — a 1.8-year decrease from 2019, according to a report, based on the National Center for Health Statistics’ data on 2020 death rates.

It was the largest single-year drop in more than 75 years.

Nine out of the 10 leading causes of death last year remained consistent with 2019, with COVID-19 bumping suicide from the list in 2020. The disease ranked third, with heart disease and cancer again claiming the top two spots.

Since the pandemic began, the U.S. has recorded more than 51 million COVID-19 cases and almost 810,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The overall death rate — about 835 deaths per 100,000 people — spiked nearly 17 percent from 2019, the largest increase in more than a century since the CDC has been tracking such data. Every age group over 15 years old faced an increase last year.

Hispanic men and women experienced the largest increase in death rates at 42.7 percent and 32.4 percent, respectively. They were followed by Black men and women, who faced a rise of 28 percent and nearly 25 percent, respectively. White men and women saw 13.4 percent and 12.1 percent increases, respectively.

Also of note, death rates for Black men — about 1,399 per 100,000 people — were the highest out of all the groups, while rates for Hispanic women were the lowest at 570 per 100,000 people.

The infant mortality rate reached a record low in 2020 at 2.9 percent.

After heart disease, cancer and COVID-19, the leading causes of death were unintentional injuries, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza, pneumonia and kidney disease.

Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News