COVID-19: 'Millions of years lost' and life expectancy cut short around the world

·1-min read

More than 28 million "extra years of life" have been lost during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has found.

By comparing the lives cut short by COVID-19 and the estimated normal life spans of those who died, researchers, led by a team at Oxford University, calculated that millions of years of life have been lost from premature deaths.

The findings also follow a significant fall in life expectancy around the globe.

The new research assessed the toll of the pandemic on 37 countries, including England and Wales.

It comes as the UK reported a further 217 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, taking the total to 141,181 within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test since the pandemic began.

The authors of the study wrote: "More than 28 million excess years of life were lost in 2020 in 31 countries, with a higher rate in men than women.

"Excess years of life lost associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 were more than five times higher than those associated with the seasonal influenza epidemic in 2015."

The figures come after global estimates from Johns Hopkins University suggest that the number of deaths due to COVID-19 around the world has now passed five million.

But the World Health Organisation has said the true figure is much higher.

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The number of years of life lost was higher than expected in all countries except Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, South Korea, and Norway.

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