Oxford Study Finds that COVID-19 Reduced Life Expectancy by Most Since WWII

Life expectancy in 2020 was cut by more than 6 months in comparison to 2019 in 22 of the 29 nations analysed.

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

Based on a study published on Monday, 27 September, by Oxford University, the pandemic caused by the coronavirus has reduced life expectancy in 2020 by a huge amount - the largest since the Second World War, Reuters reported.

Life expectancy in 2020 was slashed by more than 6 months compared to 2019 in 22 of the 29 countries that were the subject of analysis in the research paper. Of the 29 sampled countries, 27 belonged to Europe, while the other two were Chile and the United States.

The study concludes that the decrease in life expectancy across the different countries seems to have a strong connection to the officially declared COVID-19 deaths. Overall, life expectancy dropped in 27 of the 29 chosen countries.

The Importance of Data

Dr Ridhi Kashyap, the co-lead author of the published paper, said that the results highlight "a large impact that is directly attributable to COVID-19", and this "shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries."

Highlighting the urgency of more research on COVID-19, she called for the publication and availability of further information and data to better understand the worldwide impacts of the coronavirus.

She also urged the governments of other countries, especially low-income and middle-income countries, to make available their data on COVID-19 mortality rates.

American Men Impacted Most 

The study also shows that due to COVID-19, the life expectancy of men dropped by a greater margin than that of women in most of the sample countries. The greatest reduction was that of American men, whose life expectancy declined by 2.2 years compared to 2019.

Overall, in 15 countries, the life expectancy of men reduced by a year, while the same happened for women in 11 countries.

A stark difference highlighted by the study is that in the US, the deaths of working age people and of those under 60 contributed most to high mortality rates, while in Europe, most contributions to the same came from the deaths of people aged over 60.

The paper was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Topics:  Second World War   Life Expectancy   Oxford 

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