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Life expectancy falls in Brazil

Brazil was one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, with approximately 540,000 COVID-19 deaths as of mid-July (13% of the world’s total deaths). The high mortality rate has reduced the population’s life expectancy. Brazilian statistician and demographer Marcia Castro, from the School of Public Health at Harvard University, USA, together with her colleagues, including demographer Cassio Turra of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), used the total number of deaths reported in the country in 2019 and 2020 to calculate the difference in life expectancy at birth between the two years. According to the estimate, people born in 2020 will live 1.3 years less on average than someone born in the previous year, regressing to 2012 levels—in the USA, the country with the most COVID-19 deaths, the reduction was 1.1 years. In Brazil, the decline in life expectancy was greater among men (1.6 years) than among women (1 year). In Amazonas, the decrease was 3.5 years (Nature Medicine, June 29). The rate is expected to fall even further this year.