The U.S. COVID-19 pandemic resulted in 9.08 million years of life lost (YLLs) through March 13, 2021, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Julian Reif, Ph.D., from University of Illinois in Champaign, and colleagues measured YLLs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) lost from the COVID-19 pandemic, by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and comorbidity.
The researchers found that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in 6.62 million QALYs lost (9.08 million YLLs) through March 13, 2021, with 3.6 million (54 percent) lost among those aged 25 to 64 years. The Black and Hispanic communities had the greatest losses, especially among men aged 65 years and older, who lost 1,138 and 1,371 QALYs, respectively, per 10,000 persons. Based on age, sex, and race/ethnicity, without the pandemic, 38 percent of decedents in the first year of the pandemic would have had average or above-average life expectancies.
“Although excess deaths provide an important measure of mortality burden, calculating YLLs and QALYs lost reveals that the pandemic has also imposed a considerable mortality burden on younger populations,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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