US males lost 2.2 years of life on average to COVID-19, study says

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US men experienced the biggest loss in life expectancy in 2020 during the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study Oxford University published on Monday.

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The researchers noted that about 2.2 years of American men’s lives were lost due to increased mortality due to COVID-19.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant increase in mortality in 2020 not seen since World War II in Western Europe or the break-up of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe,” wrote the Oxford researchers.

related: US sees biggest drop in life expectancy since WWII due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The study echoes previous research that found that life expectancy in the US decreased by almost two years between 2018 and 2020. This is the biggest decline since World War II.

The country’s overall death rate fell in 2019 due to a reduction in deaths from heart disease and cancer. And life expectancy increased — by several weeks — for the second straight year in 2019, according to released data By the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on December 22, 2020.

But then life expectancy in the US declined staggeringly throughout the year during the first half of 2020. Scientists say the sharp decline is largely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers also noted that black and Hispanic groups saw the greatest decline in life expectancy compared to other groups of people.

“Evidence of disproportionate reduction in life expectancy between racial and ethnic groups in the US, such as the disparities reported here, draws attention to the root causes of racial disparities in health, wealth and well-being,” the study authors said.

related: Americans Lost 5.5 Million Collective Years of Life to COVID-19, Pew Says

The main reason for the decline in life expectancy was not only the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died from the novel coronavirus, but also the “disruptions caused by the pandemic”, the study authors wrote.

A separate report from the Pew Research Center published in June found that the novel coronavirus caused an estimated loss of about 5.5 million combined lives in 2020 in the US alone.

Pew researchers said COVID-19 contributed to more lost years of life for Americans than all accidental deaths combined in a typical year.

COVID-19 is now As many Americans died as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 – Around 675,000. And like the worldwide crisis of a century ago, the coronavirus may never completely disappear.

The delta variant-fueled rise in new infections may have peaked, but US deaths are still averaging more than 1,900 per day, the highest level since early March. As of Monday, the total death toll in the country stood at more than 690,000, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, although the actual number is believed to be higher.

According to one influential model, winter could usher in a new surge, although it will be less deadly than last year. The University of Washington model estimates that an additional 100,000 or more Americans will die of COVID-19 by January 1, bringing the total US toll to 776,000.

The influenza pandemic of 1918–19 killed an estimated 675,000 Americans in a US population that is one-third the size of today. It killed 50 million victims globally at a time when there were one-quarter of the world’s population as they are now. Global deaths from COVID-19 have now exceeded 4.6 million.

“We know that all epidemics are over,” said Dr., director of emergency care research at the National Institutes of Health. Jeremy Brown, who wrote a book on influenza. “They can do terrible things when they are furious.”

related: Biden tasks OSHA with implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandate

“If more people had been rapidly vaccinated, COVID-19 would have been far less fatal in the US,” Brown said, “and we still have an opportunity to turn that around.” “We often forget how lucky we are to take these things lightly.”

Current COVID-19 vaccines work very well in preventing serious illness and deaths from the types of viruses that have been exposed so far.

Instead, scientists expect the virus that causes COVID-19 to become a mild seasonal bug as human immunity strengthens through vaccination and repeated infections. it will take time.

“We expected it to be like freezing, but there are no guarantees,” said Emory University biologist Rustam Antia, who suggests an optimistic scenario in which it could happen in a few years.

For now, the pandemic is still firmly in its jaws in the United States and other parts of the world.

Antia said it will be important for scientists to make sure the ever-changing virus hasn’t changed enough to avoid vaccines or cause serious illness in unvaccinated children. Such changes would require adjustments in defense strategies and would mean a long way to a post-pandemic world.

So, will the current pandemic beat the 1918-19 flu pandemic as the worst pandemic in human history?

related: ‘Please do the right thing’: Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on camera on Monday

“You wouldn’t want to say no. We have a lot of infection control, a lot of capacity to support the sick. We have modern medicine,” said Ann Marie Kimball, a retired University of Washington professor of epidemiology. “But we have too many people and a lot of mobility. … Fear is ultimately a new strain around the goal of a particular vaccine.”

For those illiterate individuals who are relying on infection rather than vaccination for immune protection, Kimball said, “the trouble is that you have to survive the infection to gain immunity.” That said, it’s easier to go to the drugstore and get a shot.


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