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New research reveals average number of years of life lost due to coronavirus

A new study from Glasgow University has revealed the number of years of life lost per person due to Covid-19.

The report, which focuses on years of life lost instead of the number of deaths due to the virus, found the average person will lose around ten years of life.

A team lead by Dr David McAllister decided to look into this aspect of the disease in order to get a more “realistic measure” of its impact.

The study reports estimated years of life lost due to COVID-19, before and after adjustment for number and type of chronic conditions. 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The researchers used information from Italy on the age at which people with COVID-19 died, and the number and type of chronic conditions they had

The team then used World Health Organisation life tables as well as data from SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage), a large UK healthcare database, to estimate how long people with these characteristics might otherwise have been expected to live.

Now, however, a team led by Dr David McAllister, Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow at the Institute of Health and WellbeingUniversity of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Scotland, has analysed the estimated years of life lost due to COVID-19.

Dr McAllister said:“As most people dying with COVID-19 are older with underlying chronic conditions, some have speculated that the impact of the condition may have been overstated, and that the actual number of years of life lost as a result of COVID-19 are relatively low.”

This new analysis found that death from COVID-19 results in over 10 years of life lost per person, even after taking account of the typical number and type of chronic conditions found in people dying of COVID-19. 

“Among people dying of COVID-19, the number of years of life lost PER PERSON appear similar to diseases such as coronary heart disease.  

“Information such as this is important to ensure governments and the public do not wrongly underestimate the effects of COVID-19 on individuals.”

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