The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the lives of people worldwide, has also caused a drop in the life expectancy in India by almost two years, a statistical analysis by scientists of the city-based International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS) has revealed.
The analytical report, which points out the drop in life expectancy at birth in both men and women due to the pandemic, has been published in a journal ‘BMC Public Health’ recently. IIPS professor Suryakant Yadav has authored the report.
“The life expectancy at birth in 2019 was 69.5 years for men and 72 years for women, which came down to 67.5 years and 69.8 years, respectively, in 2020,” the report said.
The life expectancy at birth is calculated on the basis of the average number of years a newborn is expected to live if mortality patterns at the time of the birth of the infant remain constant in future.
The study undertaken by professor Yadav also included a factor termed ‘length of life inequality’ and found that COVID-19 has claimed maximum lives of men in the age group of 39-69.
“The 35-79 age group had excess deaths caused by COVID-19 in 2020 as compared to normal years and it is this group that has contributed immensely to the drop,” Ms Yadav said.
This study was conducted to look at the burden repercussions of the COVID-19 on mortality patterns in the country.
IIPS director Dr KS James said, “Every time we are affected with some epidemic, the life expectancy at birth figures dwindle. For instance, after the HIV-AIDS epidemic in African nations, the expectancy had dropped. Once it was brought under control, the life expectancy recouped as well.”