A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the biggest drop in life expectancy in western European countries since World War II.
The figures show that out of 29 countries — spanning most of Europe, the US and Chile — 27 featured a drop in life expectancy. In some cases, it is such a steep drop that it wiped out years of progress in raising life expectancy.
The biggest decline is among males in the US — 2.2 years compared to 2019, followed by males in Lithuania with 1.7 years, according to The Guardian.
Men have experienced a bigger decline in life expectancy than women.
“Females in eight countries and males in 11 countries experienced losses larger than a year,” says Dr. José Manuel Aburto, a co-lead author of the study.
“To contextualize, it took on average 5.6 years for these countries to achieve a one-year increase in life expectancy recently, progress wiped out over the course of 2020 by Covid-19.”