Life expectancies diverged in second year of pandemic

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Life expectancies diverged in second year of pandemic

Many Western European countries have seen life expectancies rebound to near pre-pandemic levels.

Average life expectancy varied in different parts of the world during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to divergent vaccination rates, a study found on Monday.

The pandemic has caused the biggest drop in life expectancy since World War II in 2020, researchers from the University of London's Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science said last year. Oxford.

But in 2021, a sudden divergence emerged, said Ridhi Kashyap, a professor at Oxford and co-author of a new study, published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

Some countries have started to show signs of recovery, while others have had worsening losses, he told AFP. Researchers analyzed mortality data from 29 European countries, the United States and Chile since 2015.

Many Western European countries have seen their life expectancies rebound to near pre-pandemic levels.

France, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden even managed to fully return to 2019 rates.< /p>

However, in Eastern Europe, life expectancy has fallen to a level not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the study.

In Bulgaria, life expectancy fell by 25 months in 2021 after falling by 18 months the previous year. However, Bulgaria has the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union.

Countries that had a higher percentage of their population fully vaccinated in October 2021 had a smaller drop in life expectancy, study found. This suggests there is a clear link, Mr. Kashyap said.

Countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and France have successfully traced the pre-pandemic life expectancy levels because they managed to protect both the elderly and the youngest, also said Jonas Schoeley, of the German Institute Max Planck for Demographic Research, study co-author.

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