Covid has decreased life expectancy for men, but not for women: Study

WION Web Team
London, United KingdomUpdated: Sep 24, 2021, 03:11 AM IST

(File photo) A man receives the Moderna covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo Photograph:(AFP)

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Since the coronavirus pandemic began, life expectancy for men has declined. However, a similar decline has not been observed for women

For the first time in the last 40 years, a decline has been observed in the life expectancy for the men in the UK.

This change has emerged specifically due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deadly virus has claimed millions of lives within a year, which has also reduced the life expectancy of men.

"Life expectancy has increased in the UK over the last 40 years, albeit at a slower pace in the last decade. However, the coronavirus pandemic led to a greater number of deaths than normal in 2020," Pamela Cobb, of the ONS centre for ageing and demography, said.

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While there has been no improvement in life expectancy for women, the data has remained almost the same. However, that is not same for men.

"Consequently, in the latest estimates, we see virtually no improvement in life expectancy for women, while for men life expectancy has fallen back to levels reported for 2012 to 2014," Cobb added.

Before the Covid pandemic, a male baby born between 2015 to 2017 was expected to live for 79.2 years. However, that number has now reduced to 70 years for babies born between 2018 and 2020, as per Office for National Statistics (ONS).

On the other hand, life expectancy for women has largely stayed the same, i.e. 89.2 years for babies born between 2015 and 2017 as well as 2018 and 2020.

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However, experts have also cautioned that this estimate does not mandate that the baby boys born between 2018 and 2020 will definitely have a shorter life. The data may change after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

"These estimates rely on the assumption that current levels of mortality, which are unusually high, will continue for the rest of someone’s life," Cobb said. "Once the coronavirus pandemic has ended and its consequences for future mortality are known, it is possible that life expectancy will return to an improving trend in the future."