Life expectancy across the UK

Link:https://www.clubvita.co.uk/news-and-insights/life-expectancy-across-the-uk

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The ONS (‘Office of National Statistics) produces annual updates on period life expectancy in the UK – the so-called National Life Tables. The latest tables are based on the 2018 to 2020 period, and therefore are the first to pick up the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the significantly increased death rates seen in 2020, this fall in life expectancy is not unexpected. However, it is important to note that the headline figures hide a wide variety of underlying impacts at a more granular level.

Author(s): Conor O’Reilly

Publication Date: 27 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Club Vita

Inequality in Mortality between Black and White Americans by Age, Place, and Cause, and in Comparison to Europe, 1990-2018

Link:https://www.nber.org/papers/w29203

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Although there is a large gap between Black and White American life expectancies, the gap fell 48.9% between 1990-2018, mainly due to mortality declines among Black Americans. We examine age-specific mortality trends and racial gaps in life expectancy in rich and poor U.S. areas and with reference to six European countries.
Inequalities in life expectancy are starker in the U.S. than in Europe. In 1990 White Americans and Europeans in rich areas had similar overall life expectancy, while life expectancy for White Americans in poor areas was lower. But since then even rich White Americans have lost ground relative to Europeans. Meanwhile, the gap in life expectancy between Black Americans and Europeans decreased by 8.3%.
Black life expectancy increased more than White life expectancy in all U.S. areas, but improvements in poorer areas had the greatest impact on the racial life expectancy gap. The causes that contributed the most to Black mortality reductions included: Cancer, homicide, HIV, and causes originating in the fetal or infant period.
Life expectancy for both Black and White Americans plateaued or slightly declined after 2012, but this stalling was most evident among Black Americans even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. If improvements had continued at the 1990-2012 rate, the racial gap in life expectancy would have closed by 2036. European life expectancy also stalled after 2014. Still, the comparison with Europe suggests that mortality rates of both Black and White Americans could fall much further across all ages and in both rich and poor areas.

Author(s): Hannes Schwandt, Janet Currie, Marlies Bär, James Banks, Paola Bertoli, Aline Bütikofer, Sarah Cattan, Beatrice Zong-Ying Chao, Claudia Costa, Libertad Gonzalez, Veronica Grembi, Kristiina Huttunen, René Karadakic, Lucy Kraftman, Sonya Krutikova, Stefano Lombardi, Peter Redler, Carlos Riumallo-Herl, Ana Rodríguez-González, Kjell Salvanes, Paula Santana, Josselin Thuilliez, Eddy van Doorslaer, Tom Van Ourti, Joachim Winter, Bram Wouterse & Amelie Wuppermann

DOI 10.3386/w29203

WORKING PAPER 29203

Publication Date: September 2021

Publication Site: NBER

Why Black Lives Got Longer

Link:https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-black-lives-got-longer-nber-longevity-racial-gap-11631905217

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“Between 1990 and 2018,” the paper reports, “the U.S. White-Black life expectancy gap decreased from 7.0 to 3.6 years.” A black person born in the U.S. in 1990 could be expected to live to about age 69, compared to 76 for a white person. In the intervening generation, black life expectancy rose about twice as fast as white life expectancy. A black person born in 2018 could be expected to live just over age 75, compared to just under 79 for a white person.

The drivers, the authors say, are primarily “greater reductions in Black relative to White death rates due to cancer, homicide, HIV, and causes originating in the fetal or infant period.” The most pronounced reductions in black mortality are among children and adults under age 65, rather than the elderly.

“Deaths of despair” (deaths from suicide, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related disease) increased among black and white Americans, especially in the last decade, but took a larger toll on white life expectancy. That accounted for 16.2% of the narrowing of the racial gap. The linear extension of life expectancies for both races stopped after 2012, meaning that it’s hard to see much effect from ObamaCare’s health insurance expansion in the data.

Author(s): The Editorial Board

Publication Date: WSJ

Publication Site: 11 Oct 2021

Quantifying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through life-expectancy losses: a population-level study of 29 countries

Link:https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyab207/6375510

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Life expectancy at birth (age 0, left panel) and at age 60 years (right panel) by country and sex, in 2015, 2019 and 2020. Estimates for females (red), males (blue), 2015 (|), 2019 (+), 2020 (○). Countries are sorted from highest to lowest levels of female life expectancy at birth in 2019. *Estimates for Chile, Greece and Germany were available from 2016. All data points are provided in a table in Supplementary File 2, available as Supplementary data at IJE online. An interactive version of this visualization is available at https://covid19.demographicscience.ox.ac.uk/lifeexpectancy.

Abstract:

Background

Variations in the age patterns and magnitudes of excess deaths, as well as differences in population sizes and age structures, make cross-national comparisons of the cumulative mortality impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic challenging. Life expectancy is a widely used indicator that provides a clear and cross-nationally comparable picture of the population-level impacts of the pandemic on mortality.Methods

Life tables by sex were calculated for 29 countries, including most European countries, Chile and the USA, for 2015–2020. Life expectancy at birth and at age 60 years for 2020 were contextualized against recent trends between 2015 and 2019. Using decomposition techniques, we examined which specific age groups contributed to reductions in life expectancy in 2020 and to what extent reductions were attributable to official COVID-19 deaths.Results

Life expectancy at birth declined from 2019 to 2020 in 27 out of 29 countries. Males in the USA and Lithuania experienced the largest losses in life expectancy at birth during 2020 (2.2 and 1.7 years, respectively), but reductions of more than an entire year were documented in 11 countries for males and 8 among females. Reductions were mostly attributable to increased mortality above age 60 years and to official COVID-19 deaths.Conclusions

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered significant mortality increases in 2020 of a magnitude not witnessed since World War II in Western Europe or the breakup of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. Females from 15 countries and males from 10 ended up with lower life expectancy at birth in 2020 than in 2015.

Author(s): José Manuel Aburto, Jonas Schöley, Ilya Kashnitsky, Luyin Zhang, Charles Rahal, Trifon I Missov, Melinda C Mills, Jennifer B Dowd, Ridhi Kashyap

Publication Date: 26 Sept 2021

Publication Site: International Journal of Epidemiology

Covid-19: Life expectancy is down but what does this mean?

Link:https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58659717

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Despite the name, these life expectancy figures, known as “period life expectancy”, do not predict an actual lifespan.

Instead, they show the average age a newborn would live to if current death rates continued for their whole life.

And as Covid death rates are unlikely to continue long-term, the new estimates do not mean a boy born in 2020 will have a shorter life than one born in 2019.

But they do provide a snapshot of the effect of the pandemic that can be compared over time and between countries and different populations.

Author(s): Christine Jeavans

Publication Date: 23 Sept 2021

Publication Site: BBC

Mega trend 10: The democratization of longevity

Link: https://www.clubvita.us/news-and-insights/mega-trend-10-the-democratization-of-longevity

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Illustrated below is the evolution of life expectancy at birth for seven Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries: Canada, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Across the seven countries, male life expectancy at birth ranged from 64.8 years to 68.2 years in 1960, and 69.8 years to 81.1 years in 2017, demonstrating an increase in the inequality of life expectancy of almost eight years between these countries over the period. For females, the increase was approximately four years. The inequality in life expectancy is more apparent and unsettling if we consider, for example, developing countries in Africa, averaging a life expectancy of around 63 years in 2019.

….

Altogether, I believe greater democratization of longevity is achievable with the adoption of health technologies, while ensuring they are accessible and affordable. I am hopeful but I see several challenges ahead. Such a reality will be reliant on governments, health care professionals, and patients’ acceptance and reliance on what the future of health holds. It will also require global partnerships to build out ecosystems that will facilitate inclusive innovation.

Author(s): Shantel Aris

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Club Vita

Spanish flu v. COVID-19: Comparing the Numbers and Forgetting the Lessons

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/spanish-flu-v-covid-19-comparing

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So, period life expectancy dropped about 12 – 13% in 1918 in the U.S., mainly due to the Spanish flu, because there was an outsized effect from young adults being the main group killed by the disease (also, period life expectancy was relatively short — under 60 years!). That was a drop of about 7 years.

But life expectancy dropped only about 1 year in 2020 due to COVID impacts, and that was a decrease of less than 3% compared to 2019.

So if you want to compare the effect of the Spanish flu vs. COVID-19 on the U.S. population, all of these rates —- percentage change in period life expectancy, age-adjusted death rates, or even crude death rate — are all more reasonable choices than simply number of people who died.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

The economic value of targeting aging

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-021-00080-0?fbclid=IwAR30GYDrmx1ck_1CkFvkoJUR4EttL4OxkNOgD9ZYft_jvqYa-inOhhthZao

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Developments in life expectancy and the growing emphasis on biological and ‘healthy’ aging raise a number of important questions for health scientists and economists alike. Is it preferable to make lives healthier by compressing morbidity, or longer by extending life? What are the gains from targeting aging itself compared to efforts to eradicate specific diseases? Here we analyze existing data to evaluate the economic value of increases in life expectancy, improvements in health and treatments that target aging. We show that a compression of morbidity that improves health is more valuable than further increases in life expectancy, and that targeting aging offers potentially larger economic gains than eradicating individual diseases. We show that a slowdown in aging that increases life expectancy by 1 year is worth US$38 trillion, and by 10 years, US$367 trillion. Ultimately, the more progress that is made in improving how we age, the greater the value of further improvements.

Author(s): Andrew J. Scott, Martin Ellison, David A. Sinclair

Publication Date: 5 July 2021

Publication Site: Nature Aging

Mortality with Meep: U.S. Life Expectancy Fell 2.4% in 2020, and Death Rates Increased 16.1%

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-us-life-expectancy

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The Spanish flu pandemic gives us the demonstration of what happens when there is a short-term large increase in mortality.

Using Social Security records of period life expectancy, there was a huge drop in life expectancy in 1918…. and then a huge increase in 1919. But going from 1917 to 1919 wasn’t really that big of a difference.

The period life expectancy drop was 12% for females, 13% for males in 1918.

Then there was an increase of 15% for females, 20% for males in 1919. The Spanish flu hit the U.S. hard in 1918, and let up in 1919.

If you compare 1919 against 1917, the life expectancy from birth increase was 1% for females, and 4% increase for males — male life expectancy was down in 1917 compared to 1916, probably related to World War I.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 29 June 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Will Your Life Be Shortened By The Pandemic?

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevevernon/2021/06/25/will-your-life-be-shortened-by-the-pandemic/?sh=177b1c0f1952

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Now, because the pandemic produced higher death rates in 2020 compared to prior years, a period life expectancy calculated for 2020 produced lower life expectancies compared to period life expectancies calculated for prior years. That’s because it’s assumed that the elevated death rates we experienced in 2020 would apply to all future years. But if the death rates decline in 2021, then any period life expectancies calculated for 2021 would most likely be higher. And that’s certainly the hope, given that a large portion of the population has received a vaccine, which is already resulting in a dramatic decline in new infections and hospitalizations. 

If you’ve survived the pandemic with your health relatively intact and if you’ve also received the vaccine, then it’s highly likely the virus won’t shorten your lifespan. Of course, new deadly variants or future deadly viruses could change that conclusion, but for now, the outlook is positive.

“Cohort life expectancies” on the other hand, are calculated for a group of people reflecting their characteristics and the experience they might expect over their lifetimes. These life expectancies are calculated in the same way as period life expectancies, except that the death rates used to estimate someone’s remaining future years are modified to reflect anticipated future changes in death rates. If you want to estimate your own remaining lifespan, a cohort life expectancy is often most appropriate.

Author(s): Steve Vernon

Publication Date: 25 June 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

Life expectancy in U.S. dropped by almost two years between 2018 and 2020

Link: https://www.benefitspro.com/2021/06/28/life-expectancy-in-u-s-dropped-by-almost-two-years-between-2018-and-2020/

Excerpt:

Life expectancy in the United States between 2018 and 2020 decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), which is 8.5 times the average decrease in other high-income nations. What’s more, decreases in life expectancy among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black people were about two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic White population, reversing years of progress in reducing racial and ethnic disparities. The life expectancy of Black men (67.73 years) is the lowest since 1998.

Those are key findings of a study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, the University of Colorado Population Center and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and published in The BMJ — a peer-reviewed medical trade journal of the British Medical Association.

Author(s): Michael Popke

Publication Date: 28 June 2021

Publication Site: Benefits Pro

Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations in the USA and other high income countries: simulations of provisional mortality data

Link: https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1343

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Results Between 2010 and 2018, the gap in life expectancy between the US and the peer country average increased from 1.88 years (78.66 v 80.54 years, respectively) to 3.05 years (78.74 v 81.78 years). Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries (0.22 years), widening the gap to 4.69 years. Life expectancy in the US decreased disproportionately among racial and ethnic minority groups between 2018 and 2020, declining by 3.88, 3.25, and 1.36 years in Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations, respectively. In Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations, reductions in life expectancy were 18 and 15 times the average in peer countries, respectively. Progress since 2010 in reducing the gap in life expectancy in the US between Black and White people was erased in 2018-20; life expectancy in Black men reached its lowest level since 1998 (67.73 years), and the longstanding Hispanic life expectancy advantage almost disappeared.

Conclusions The US had a much larger decrease in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020 than other high income nations, with pronounced losses among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations. A longstanding and widening US health disadvantage, high death rates in 2020, and continued inequitable effects on racial and ethnic minority groups are likely the products of longstanding policy choices and systemic racism.

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1343 (Published 24 June 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1343

Author(s): Steven H Woolf, Ryan K Masters, Laudan Y Aron

Publication Date: 24 June 2021

Publication Site: bmj