COVID-19 Has a Significant Impact on Life Expectancy
According to research published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, COVID-19 deaths in 2020 corresponded to a reduced US life expectancy of 1.31 years (from 78.74 years to 77.43).
Moreover, data suggests a 3.03-year reduction in the Latino population’s life expectancy, a 1.9-year reduction in the Black population’s life expectancy, and a 0.94-year reduction in the White population’s life expectancy.
The coronavirus is also linked to a sustained decline in life expectancy in 2021. COVID-19 deaths from April suggest a nearly 0.6-year reduction for all of 2021 with ongoing disproportionate Black and Latino population changes.
Not only has the life expectancy in the US decreased, but according to a research paper published by The British Medical Journal, it did so more than in other high-income countries. For example, in 2018, life expectancy was 78.7 years, around three years less compared to figures in 16 other peer countries. Furthermore, from 2018 to 2020, US life expectancy declined by about 1.9 years, 8.5 times more than the average reduction of 0.2 years for other wealthy nations.
The consequences of COVID-19 that affected life expectancy include deaths directly due to the virus and disturbances, such as restricted access to health care, economic pressure, and mental health issues.
The pandemic will likely leave many long-term complications for both the mental and physical health of the nation. Future research will be challenging but pertinent for us to fully comprehend the long and short-term effects of COVID-19, lockdowns, and the lack of social interactions that came with it.
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