The Covid-19 destroys the advance of life expectancy: registers its biggest drop since World War II

How Covid-19 affects humans life

Since the Second World War there have not been such large drops in life expectancy globally. Covid-19 has contributed to reducing it in 27 of the 29 countries analyzed in a study published by the University of Oxford; In 22 of them, the rate has fallen in more than six months, although by gender, the decrease has been a year or more, with men being the most affected.

Compared to 2019, the life expectancy of men in the US has decreased by 2.2 years. It is the largest decrease recorded in the study, which focuses on the North American country, Europe and Chile. It is followed by that of Lithuanian men, who have registered a reduction of 1.7 years.

“For Western European countries such as Spain, England and Wales, Italy, Belgium, among others, the last time such large decreases in life expectancy at birth were observed in a single year was during World War II,” he said. José Manuel Aburto, co-lead author of the article published in the  International Journal of Epidemiology.

From 2015 to 2019, all countries experienced increases in life expectancy at birth, albeit with different magnitudes. Among women, the increases ranged from one month per year, recorded in Greece, France and Scotland, to more than three months in Spain, Hungary and Lithuania. Among men, the smallest increases in life expectancy at birth were observed in the USA, Scotland and Iceland (up to n month per year), while Lithuanian men benefited from more than five months per year of additional life expectancy.

Covid-19 affects life

The covid ends more than five years of progress

However, 2020 shattered progress and life expectancy declined in all countries for both sexes except for women in Finland and both sexes in Denmark and Norway. Already in September of last year, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) indicated that life expectancy had dropped by almost a year.

With the exception of Spain, Slovenia, Estonia and Northern Ireland, life expectancy losses were greater for men in 2020. From 2019 to 2020, women in eight countries and men in 11 lost more than 1 year of life expectancy. life at birth.

Of the 29 countries, women in 15 of them and men in 10 ended up with a lower life expectancy at birth in 2020 than in 2015, an exceptionally bad year for life expectancy due to an unusually strong flu season. “To put it in context, it took these countries an average of 5.6 years to achieve a one-year increase in life expectancy recently, progress wiped out over the course of 2020 by covid-19,” Aburto pointed out.

From 2019 to 2020, the study indicates, women in eight countries and men in eleven lost more than a year of life expectancy at birth.

Thus, life expectancy at birth among women in 2019 ranged between 78.6 years in Bulgaria and 86.5 years in Spain, while among men, it ranged between 71.4 years in Lithuania and 82.2 years in Switzerland. At age 60, Eastern European countries and Scotland had the lowest remaining life expectancy, while older women in France and Spain had the highest.

The connection between reduced life expectancy and the pandemic seems straightforward. According to the study, the new data could be directly related to the nearly five million deaths from covid registered since the global health crisis broke out, pointed to by Reuters.

“The fact that our results highlight such a large impact is that it is directly attributed to the coronavirus, which shows how devastating the impact has been for many countries,” said Dr. Ridhi Kashyap, co-lead author of the paper.