The life expectancy of American men dropped by more than two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has found.
Oxford University said in the study published Monday that the life expectancy among men fell by 2.2 years in 2020, the largest drop since World War II, according to Reuters.
Life expectancy fell by more than six months compared to 2019 for 22 of the 29 countries analyzed for the study, which included the US and European nations.
Overall, there were reductions in life expectancy in 27 of the 29 countries, the news outlet said.
Most life expectancy reductions could be linked to official COVID-19 deaths. The pandemic has so far claimed about 4.7 million lives across the globe and infected almost 232 million people, according to the latest numbers by Johns Hopkins University.
In the US, more than 688,000 people have died and almost 43 million cases have been confirmed.
“The fact that our results highlight such a large impact that is directly attributable to COVID-19 shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries,” said Dr. Ridhi Kashyap, co-lead author of the study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Most countries saw greater drops in life expectancy for men than women. Overall, men’s life expectancy fell by more than a year in 15 countries, compared to women in 11 countries.
In the US, the increased mortality was mainly among people of working age and those under 60. In Europe, meanwhile, deaths among those over 60 contributed more significantly to the spike in mortality.