Covid-19 Caused An Estimated Loss Of 20.5 Million Life Years Worldwide: Study

According to the study results, 44.9 per cent of the total years of life lost occurred in people between 55 and 75 years of age, 30.2 per cent in people under 55, and 25 per cent in people over 75 years of age.

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An estimated 20,507,518 life years have been lost due to covid-19 in about 81 countries that include India, with an average of sixteen years per individual death, showed research published in the Scientific Reports (Nature Research) journal. The years of life lost (YLL) rate is the difference between an individual’s age at death and their life expectancy.

The scientists also conducted an analysis based on estimated excess deaths. As of January 6, 2021, the study said that the life years lost rate due to the pandemic has been between two and nine times greater than the mean YLL rate associated with seasonal flu.

Analysis published in the Scientific Reports (Nature Research) journal showed that an estimated 20,507,518 life years were lost due to covid-19 in about 81 countries, including India, with an average of sixteen years per person death. The Years of Life Lost (YLL) rate is the difference between the age of death and the life expectancy of a person.

Based on estimated excess deaths, the scientists have conducted an analysis. As of January 6, 2021, the study said that the life-year loss rate due to the pandemic was between two and nine times higher than the mean seasonal flu-related YLL rate.

“The results confirm the large mortality impact of covid-19 among the elderly,” said the authors. In 35 of the countries studied, the data coverage spans at least nine months; in these cases, this suggests that it will probably include the full impacts of the pandemic in 2020, or at least its first waves, while for other countries, these figures are still rising. The authors warn that “these results must be understood in the context of an ongoing, evolving pandemic; this study is a snapshot of the possible impacts of covid-19 on years of life lost on January 6, 2021”.

“Estimates of years of life lost may be underestimated, due to the difficulty of accurately recording covid-19-related deaths”.

The study was conducted by a group of researchers from a variety of international universities and research centres, including UPF Department of Economics and Business lecturers Héctor Pifarré I Arolas (first author) and Guillem López Casasnovas, both of whom are researchers at the Health and Economics Research Centre (CRES-UPF).

Researchers Mikko Myrskylä, Enrique Acosta and Tim Riffe (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Science, Germany), Adeline Lo (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) and Catia Nicodemo (University of Oxford) also participated in the research, reported in the journal Scientific Reports (Nature Research), and was co-funded by the ‘la Caixa’ Foundation.

The research also received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Fonds du Recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (Canada) and from the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 Research Response Fund (Great Britain).

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