The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across the board. It is estimated that so far has caused worldwide 2.45 million deaths and 111 million infections And, in addition, it has greatly affected the economy. Its impact has been of historical dimensions and some studies have tried to calibrate it.
This is the case of a work developed by a group of scientists from various universities and international research centers, who have calculated the impact of premature mortality from COVID-19. It is a project that has had Spanish participation through Héctor Pifarré Arolas and Guillem López Casasnovas, researchers from the Center for Research in Health Economics (CRES-UPF).
According to the Europa Press agency, the method applied in the study has been the calculation of years of life lost (YLL) due to COVID-19 and the relative measure of YLL in relation to other common ailments, like the flu or cardiovascular disease. The years lost index is the difference between an individual’s age at death and their life expectancy, according to the researchers.
More than 20.5 million years
To obtain the results of the study, which has been published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’, those responsible for this work estimated the YLL caused by COVID-19 using data on more than 1,279,866 deaths in 81 countries. They also analyzed life expectancy data and made projections of total COVID-19 deaths by country.
In this way, the researchers calculate that in total 20,507,518 years of life have been lost due to COVID-19 in the 81 countries included in the study, with a sixteen-year average per individual death. Furthermore, they estimate that 44.9% of the years lost have occurred in individuals between 55 and 75 years old, 30.2% in individuals under 55 years old and 25% in those over 75 years old.
The figure is higher in men
“Our results confirm that the impact of COVID-19 mortality is large, not only in terms of the number of deaths, but also in terms of the years of life lost,” say the study authors, who were also able to conclude that the YLL was 44% higher in men than in women.
Likewise, this team discovered that, in the countries most affected by COVID-19, and in relation to other common global causes of death, the The rate of years of life lost due to the pandemic has been two to nine times higher than the mean YLL associated with seasonal flu, and between 1/4 and 1/2 higher than the YLL attributable to heart conditions.