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US News Covid-19 causes the sharpest decrease in life expectancy in Sweden since 1944

19:15  26 november  2020
19:15  26 november  2020 Source:   businessinsider.de

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This year, Swedish life expectancy is set to fall by 0.3 years for women and 0.5 years for men. This would be the biggest drop in life expectancy in The expected drop is largely down to the COVID - 19 pandemic, Statistics Sweden said. The country is in the midst of a second wave, and cases are soaring.

Life expectancy is falling in Sweden , which the country’s statistics agency says is directly tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Sweden has suffered a much higher Covid - 19 mortality rate than its Nordic neighbors, with its old-age care homes particularly hard hit.

Life expectancy in Sweden is likely to decrease in 2020 because of the corona pandemic, the Swedish statistics agency said on Wednesday.

The decline predicted by the agency would mark the biggest year-on-year decline since 1944, said Örjan Hemström, demographer at Statistics Sweden.

The life expectancy of women will therefore decrease from 84.7 to 84.4 years. For men, a decline from 81.3 to 80.8 years is expected - which roughly compensates for the sharp increase in life expectancy in 2019.

"We are not seeing any signs of immunity in the population"

Sweden has taken a more relaxed approach to the pandemic and has decided not to enforce a national lockdown. Instead, the focus was more on the individual responsibility of the citizens.

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Despite global criticism, Sweden has seen a drop in serious Covid cases without ever having a lockdown. But according to clinical epidemiologist Helena Nordenstedt, there's no consensus in Sweden 's scientific community that the strategy as a whole has failed.

Thirteen Covid - 19 patients are in intensive care in Swedish hospitals, and its seven-day average of coronavirus-related deaths is zero. Unlike many countries, Sweden closed schools for the over-16s but kept those for younger pupils open, insisting on full attendance.

But the country is now in the middle of a second wave with a steep rise in Covid 19 cases and has now turned around: It was wrong to expect that its own policy would prevent a further increase. On Tuesday, the country's leading epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said, "We are not seeing any evidence of immunity in the population that would slow the infection right now," according to Bloomberg .

The Swedish statistics agency stated that life expectancy had "increased steadily" between 1900 and 2019. "The fact that it is now sinking is striking." Its calculations were based on the death rate in the Scandinavian country between January and August. During that period, the country recorded nearly 6,500 more deaths than at the same time in 2019, an increase of around ten percent.

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Sweden ’s coronavirus case numbers were “going in the wrong direction quickly,” he pointed out, referring to the recent rise in infections across the Sweden was one of the few countries to refrain from harsh national lockdown measures during the first wave of Covid - 19 in spring, and still relies on

After avoiding a Covid - 19 lockdown, the country sees Sweden has largely relied on voluntary social distancing guidelines since the start of the pandemic, including working from Although businesses have largely continued to operate in Sweden , the country's economy is highly dependent on exports

Life expectancy could drop even more than predicted, warned the Swedish Statistics Office. That's because the death rate between September and December was predicted based on the number of deaths in the corresponding months of 2019.

Sweden moves away from the special route

This year, due to Covid-19, it is expected that the death rate will be significantly higher in these months.

Life expectancy will decrease to varying degrees in the different districts, said the agency - and in some areas it can even be expected that people will live longer. The steepest decrease in life expectancy of 1.2 years is expected for the Stockholm district, where the country's capital of the same name is located, according to the data from Statistics Sweden.

On November 16, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced stricter coronavirus measures on , including limiting public gatherings to eight people.

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The Swedish historian Sverker Sörlin, himself a Covid - 19 survivor, noted in a recent article that But could it work in Sweden itself? And why did Sweden choose to stray from the path followed by the many, including its Nordic neighbours? In any case, lockdown was not only a matter of saving lives

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However, he reiterated that the Swedish government "does not believe in total lockdown as the means of choice". Sweden has twice as many inhabitants as neighboring Norway, but according to the World Health Organization ( WHO ) it has about 20 times more deaths related to Covid-19.

According to WHO , the United Kingdom has the highest number of related deaths in Europe with just over 55,000 deaths as of November 25th.

This article first appeared here and has been translated from English.

  Covid-19 verursacht den stärksten Rückgang der Lebenserwartung in Schweden seit 1944 © Provided by Business Insider Germany

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5fbe40d932f2170011f71191 © Fredrik Sandberg / TT News Agency / AFP via Getty Images 5fbe40d932f2170011f71191

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