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Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register
Study record
Vu 2022hFirst Published: 2022 Jul 4Updated Date: 2022 Jul 4

Weeks of life lost to COVID-19, the case of the United States

  1. Study Type
  2. Modelling
  1. Study Aim
  2. Epidemiology
  1. Study Design
  2. Other
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable
Reference record

Weeks of life lost to COVID-19, the case of the United States

Vu Manh C
Journal article
Report Results
BACKGROUND: Years of life lost (YLL) is a preferable indicator to assess the mortality impact of COVID-19. This indicator still has limits, however. Therefore, a new approach and its early-death weeks (eDW) index has been recently proposed to alter YLL. This study aims to add a new approach, the moving excess-deficit mortality model, and its method, the weeks of life lost (WLL) index. The new method was then used to measure WLL associated with COVID-19 in the United States (US). METHODS: The natural mortality law and the random pattern of spreading COVID-19 were employed to support calculating WLL. The natural mortality law implied that under the same living conditions and the weaker would die earlier. The random spreading of COVID-19 assumed that COVID-19 causes the weekly number of early deaths in equal proportions from all of those who would have died eventually distributed through the pandemic. RESULTS: From Week 02 of 2020 to Week 44 of 2021, we found that the US population has lost 56,270,300 weeks to COVID-19; the average WLL per COVID-19-related death is 74 or 1.4 in the unit of years. CONCLUSIONS: The results do not depend on the high heterogeneity of deaths (e.g., age, gender, health status) and on whether COVID-19 is the main cause of death. The moving excess-deficit mortality model and WLL index can be applied promptly at any time and anywhere once excess deaths occurred during the pandemic. The index also provides critical insights into COVID-19, which can support making public health policies and decisions
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