COVID-19: Life expectancy in England has dropped significantly since the pandemic

PHE has found that COVID-19 has dramatically declined the life expectancy of both men and women in England.

Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that COVID-19 is responsible for the biggest drop in life expectancy in England since recordings started taking place in 1981.

Life expectancy on the decline in England

Deaths caused by the coronavirus have shortened the life expectancy of men by 1.3 years and 0.9 years in woman. Men are now expected to live on average to just 78.7 years while woman are now down to 82.7 years.

Even more concerning, other data tracking life expectancy has found that this is the most significant drop since WWII when rates dropped by 3.6 years for men and 2.4 years for women. According to PHE, geographical location as well as socio-economic status coupled with coronavirus infection rates have factored in how many years are shaved off in people.

In England, people in London saw the biggest dip in life expectancy while The south west and east of England saw the smallest drops. PHE explained that this new figures represent 'further evidence of widening inequalities:'

This demonstrates that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in life expectancy by deprivation.

And added:

Covid was the cause of death that contributed most to the gap in 2020, however, higher mortality from heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases in deprived areas remained important contributors.

Other contributing factors

Although the surge in deaths caused by COVID-19 is primarily to blame, dementia and Alzheimer's disease also contribute to the decline in life expectancy for both men and women in England. In addition, alcohol abuse leading to death has also seen an increase in the country since the emergence of the pandemic. As a result, PHE says that:

The Covid pandemic has disproportionally affected people from ethnic minority groups, people living in deprived areas, older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.
There have been substantial indirect effects on children's education and mental health, and on employment opportunities across the life course, but particularly for younger people working in sectors such as hospitality and entertainment.

And added:

In addition, it is clear that access and use of a range of health services has been disrupted during the pandemic and the long-term effects of this is not yet realised.
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