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At least 20 million years of life have been lost to coronavirus

At least 20 million years of life have been lost to coronavirus
Friday, 19 February, 2021, 19:30

The COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in an astonishing 20 million years of life lost worldwide, according to estimates from a new study. On average, each person who died lost 16 years of life.
The study researchers — from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany — analyzed data from more than 1.2 million people in 81 countries who have died of COVID-19 so far. (The researchers used information from a database of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths known as COVerAge-DB, which includes data from 112 countries. The analysis included all countries with at least one COVID-19 death as of Jan. 6, 2021.) Then, they calculated "years of life lost," or the difference between a person's age at death and their life expectancy, using data on life expectancy in these countries.
Overall, more than 20.5 million years of life were lost due to COVID-19 in these countries alone.
The study also found that in countries with lots of COVID-19 cases, years of life lost due to COVID-19 were two to nine times higher than years of life lost due to flu during a typical flu season.
Finally, the study only examined premature death, and did not look at the potential health burden of the disease among survivors, or "years lived with disability" as a result of the disease. More research is needed on the long-term health effects of COVID-19 and how frequently they occur, they said.