(ORDO NEWS) — The coronavirus pandemic has already cut life expectancy by nearly two years, researchers say. These shocking data are reversing the trend in which modern people live longer than their parents and grandparents.
The study found that due to this pandemic, the average life expectancy of men and women fell by almost two years, according to the Daily Mail.
Life expectancy in England and Wales has risen steadily over the past 50 years and has remained unchanged over the past ten years. But, according to experts, the coronavirus crisis has returned the situation to the 2008 level.
But even that may be an underestimation of the real damage caused by COVID-19: Many of the increases in deaths in the first half of 2020 – from ailments such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, asthma, flu and pneumonia – may have been caused by an undiagnosed coronavirus.
COVID-19 has cut life expectancy for women from 83.5 years in 2019 to 81.8 years for those born in the first half of 2020, and from 79.9 years to 78 years for men.
Lead researcher Jose Manuel Aburto of the University of Oxford School of Sociology says: “We have presented estimates of life expectancy in 2019 and the first half of 2020, which show that life expectancy for women and men has decreased by 1.7 and 1.9 years, respectively. between these years.”
“For comparison,” continues Jose Manuel Aburto, “life expectancy for men and women in the first half of 2020 fell to 2008 levels. Perhaps our estimates of excess mortality and life expectancy are underestimated.”
Life expectancy at birth is used as an indicator of population health.
The study, posted on an academic website prior to publication in a peer-reviewed journal, used official all-cause mortality data from the Office for National Statistics from March 2, when COVID-19 death was first reported in England and Wales – through to end of June.
The researchers compared this data with previous trends looking at excess mortality, life expectancy, and inequality in life expectancy.
More than half (54%) of the 53,937 identified deaths were among men.
Between 2005 and 2019, inequality in life expectancy declined slowly from 13.8 to 13.5 years for women and from 15 to 14.7 years for men, but in the first half of 2020 it fell sharply to 12.9 years for women and 14 years old for men.
“Quantifying excess deaths and their impact on life expectancy at birth provides a more complete picture of the impact of COVID-19 on mortality. Whether mortality will return to baseline or even fall below remains to be seen,” the researchers said.
The future impact on life expectancy remains unclear due to the possibility of a second wave of the virus.
The long-term health effects of COVID-19 could also lead to earlier death. But if the most vulnerable people have already died, it is possible that we will see fewer deaths than expected by the end of 2020, the researchers said.
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