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Life expectancy may be reduced by 2 to 7 years in Southeast Asia, know-how

By Jahanbee Gupta

A recent study, published in the journal PLOS on 17 September 2020, showed that if COVID-19 continues to spread, there would be a decrease in the life expectancy of people, especially in regions which have been affected severely by the infection.

More than 31 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the world, out of which India accounts for 5.4 million cases. Even after meticulous planning and taking many preventive measures, the number of new cases has been increasing continuously. This is not only affecting the current health status of the entire population but can also affect their life expectancy.

A recent study, published in the journal PLOS on 17 September 2020, showed that if COVID-19 continues to spread, there would be a decrease in the life expectancy of people, especially in regions which have been affected severely by the infection.

The novel coronavirus has expressed itself through a spectrum of symptoms in patients. While most people either do not present with any symptoms or show mild symptoms of the disease, others may present with mild to critical pneumonia, shortness of breath, and respiratory failure. As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, the mortality (death) rate is increasing simultaneously. As per the scientists from the Asian Demographic Research Institute, regions with a high mortality rate due to COVID-19 may present with a decline in their life expectancy rate.

Life expectancy is the way to measure the number of years that an average person is expected to live. There are various factors such as healthcare facilities, socioeconomic status, and education facilities that are factored in while calculating life expectancy.

To prove their point, the scientists built a model which resembled the life of individuals, who were monitored every week for almost a year (52 weeks). In that model, the scientists studied the age-specific prevalence rate of COVID-19 infection and also the probabilities of dying from the infection. The scientists further examined the length of illness of the disease, which is expected to be 2 weeks.


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