QCOSTARICA – Covid-19 would have caused the Costa Rican population to lose 13,484 years of life. How is this possible and what does it mean?
This variable is called years of life lost, a measure of premature deaths that takes into account both the frequency of deaths and the age at which it occurs, and it is one of the ways of evaluating the impact of mortality from a disease or condition in a certain population or place.
If we base solely on people’s age (and not other health factors), how long would each of the deceased have lived?
The Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) carried out an analysis on this variable and thus reached this conclusion: 13,484 years.
In a study of 81 countries, in total, 20,507,518 years of life have been lost to COVID-19, Nature.com reports. The average years of life lost per death is 16 years.
What does the data mean?
The way to calculate the impact of mortality is not only based on saying how many people died of a certain disease. However, to better understand the impact of other variables, it is good to review the most basic data.
Up to this Friday, March 19, 2021, Costa Rica accumulated 2,896 deaths related to covid-19.
We know that these people represent 1.37% of the confirmed infections in Costa Rica. This is known as lethality.
It is also known that the elderly are those who have died the most, with 2,002 deaths (69.13%). Only four of the deaths were minors (0.13%).
Fatality also varies by age group. Seniors also accumulate the highest fatality, with 12.42%, in adults it is 0.5% and in minors, it is 0.02%.
Who has suffered the most from the years of life lost?
According to the analysis of the US, of the 13,484 years, 11,051 (81.96%) occurred in people who at the time of death were between 20 and 64 years old.
“This is not surprising, because it is the age group that has the highest number of the population and cases of the virus,” said Evans.
In addition, each of these people had at least 11 more years to live at the time of their death, so each of them adds more to the national indicator.
Another 2,028 years lost (15.04%) correspond to people aged 65 and over. This group, although it has a greater number of deaths, each of them implies less loss of years of life.
Finally, 355 years of life (2.63%) belong to the group under 20 years of age, where, although each death has more years of life lost, deaths are scarce and therefore the indicator is low.
“We must take into account that this is only a portion of 2020, from March, when the first deaths occurred, until November 5, which is the most recent disaggregated data we have,” epidemiologist Ronald Evans, coordinator of the analysis, clarified.
For Evans, it is necessary that we continue to take care of ourselves so as not to lose more years of life: “we will see what next week holds. It could be a good predictor of what will happen in the near future. However, the pertinent thing is to continue advising precaution and prevention with the already known measures”.
The wake-up call is especially given the increase in the contagion rate or R rate this week, which went from 0.96 to 1.07, the highest figure in the last two months.