COVID-19 May Bring Down Life Expectancy In World: Study

London: The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a short-term decline in life expectancy in the severely affected areas of the world, unless the spread of the disease is contained, according to a study.

The research study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, examined the impact of COVID-19 related deaths on life expectancy in four broad world regions across multiple rates of infection and age groups.

“Our study provides the first assessment of the potential impact of COVID-19 on period life expectancies according to a range of scenarios of prevalence rates over a one-year period,” the Hindustan Times quoted Guillaume Marois of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, who led the study.

Period life expectancy is a measure of the number of years that an average person may expect to live. Improved healthcare, socioeconomic conditions, and education are the key factors influencing “our health and how long we live”, the study stated.

The researchers built a model that simulates the probability of getting infected by COVID-19, the probability of dying from it, and the probability of dying from another cause for a period of one year, taking into account the different fatality rates from the disease for different age groups.

They then calculated the impact of COVID-19 on life expectancy by reconstructing life tables and life expectancies from the simulation and comparing them with those used for the inputs. The study found that at very low prevalence rates, the COVID-19 would not affect life expectancy.

However, at prevalence rate of only 2 per cent, the disease could cause a drop in life expectancy in countries where average life expectancy is high – around 80 years.

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