NEW DELHI: The age-group disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 in India is 50–59 years, both for getting the disease and for death, and not the extreme old age above 80, as is generally believed, according to the latest analysis on coronavirus deaths in the country.
The analysis has also shown that on average, nearly 20 years of life is lost by a COVID death in India and overall, the deaths due to the infectious disease may cause a loss of a total of more than 4 million life-years in full-year.
The researchers associated with the department of clinical research in Max hospital in Delhi Max Healthcare have assessed that a total of over 2 million years of life have already been lost due to the COVID-19 and the pattern indicates that the country may end up with nearly 4 million year of lives lost due to this disease.
This is nearly 20 years lost per COVID-19 death, 303 years lost per 1,000 cases of COVID-19, and about three years lost per 1,000 population in a full year.
“The age-group 50–59 years has been particularly affected...The years of life lost so far and anticipated in full-year are enormous but may still be lower compared with some other causes such as road injuries,” noted the authors in their paper “Preliminary Estimates of Years of Life Lost (YLL) Due to COVID-19 in India”.
The researchers also sought to underscore the role played by the healthcare system in preventing deaths by saying that “our medical services seem to be doing an excellent job of saving the life of old age people from this disease as the death rate by COVID in them has been lower than in the general population.”
The study also reiterates that less than 2% of all COVID-19 deaths were in the age-group less than 20 years, whereas against this, in the total population, nearly 14% of all deaths in India were in this age group.
Thus, the disease is nearly one-seventh as fatal in this age-group as the all-cause mortality in India. The situation in the age-group 60 years and above is nearly the reverse. The share of this age-group in total COVID-19 deaths was over 51% whereas in the general population this was 56%.