How many years of life COVID-19 actually takes away? – Innovita Research

COVID-19 pandemic already caused almost 200 thousand deaths worldwide. And this is assuming the official data from all countries is accurate. This is a huge loss of life, which would be even worse if countries didn’t implement quarantine regiment. But how many years of life have we actually lost?

Everyone knows that COVID-19 is the most dangerous to older people and those who have underlying conditions. As bizarre as this sounds, this fact is actually soothing to many people. A lot of young people feel pretty much untouchable for this disease and do not take it too seriously. People actually tend to discount the entire pandemic, because they believe that only the weakest and the oldest people are dying. However, many victims of the COVID-19 pandemic wanted and could have lived for many years more. How many more though?

People already got used to using protective equipment, but COVID-19 is still causing deaths in many countries in the world. Image credit: dave souza, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Scientists from Scotland decided to take a look at the impact of COVID-19 pandemic from a different perspective. While the number of deaths is, of course, significant, it doesn’t reflect the actual impact of this pandemic. Which is why scientists decided to estimate how many years of life we’ve already lost.

Scientists focused on Italy. They payed attention to the age of the victims and what kind of chronic conditions they had. Scientists used life tables from World Health Organization as well as UK healthcare database and other sources to estimate how long these people could have lived. Researchers have found that a typical COVID-19 victim could have lived for about 10 more years. And this is shockingly sad.

While some patients might have had only months left, others had years. And everyone wants to live longer and is needed for someone. When people read the news about those who died they assume that these people were frail and old, but many of them would have lived an entire decade. Furthermore, back in April 9th it was reported that over a 100 doctors have died in Italy due to COVID-19. These healthcare workers could have helped saving so many lives through the years to come. If this is not going to make you put on a mask as social-distance yourself, we don’t know what will.

Image credit: Global Panorama via, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Of course, this study still has to be peer reviewed. It might be criticized because of the data pool chosen, because Italy was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The subject itself is hardly accurate, because those estimates, how long a person can live with a certain condition, are definitely not accurate. Each case is different. However, this approach is very interesting and provides a different insight into the impact of COVID-19 pancemic.

Dr David McAllister, leader of the research team, said: “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”.


Source: University of Glasgow