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A Review of Literature Measuring Years of Life Lost due to COVID-19: The Search for Comorbidity Inclusion

Green, Cameron (2021) A Review of Literature Measuring Years of Life Lost due to COVID-19: The Search for Comorbidity Inclusion. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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COVID-19 (corona virus disease 19), caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome virus 2), is characterized by a diverse range of clinical manifestations, predominately respiratory disease. Risk factors for severe COVID-19 include old age (> 65 years of age), male sex, and pre-existing conditions (e.g., cancer, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, etc.), among other factors. COVID-19 disproportionally impacts individuals with pre-existing conditions; therefore, it is critical that estimations of COVID-19 mortality are representative to provide targeted interventions. Years of life lost (YLL) is an important public health tool that provides public health officials, clinicians, and researchers a means to estimate the duration of life an individual may have realized had they not died prematurely. YLL measurements do not include the impact of single and multiple comorbidities on premature mortality; therefore, YLL estimations are known to be over-estimates. The purpose of this essay was to analyze COVID-19 YLL literature to assess YLL measurements and/or models which include comorbidities. The existence of a YLL model, which incorporates comorbidities, could dramatically improve health care clinicians and policymakers’ capabilities to determine the impact of COVID-19 on at-risk populations. COVID-19 YLL literature that includes comorbidities is limited, however, a manuscript by authors Hanlon et al. estimated the likely combinations of comorbidities among people who have died from COVID-19 and then estimated life expectancy based on age, sex, and the comorbidity combinations to estimate YLL. This model has the potential to enhance the understanding of factors contributing to COVID-19 mortality and implications for clinical practice, public health policy, and guidelines for COVID 19 management. The model could be improved with the inclusion of other variables, including personal-level data, additional clinical comorbidities, race, socio-economic status (SES), occupation, specific health behaviors, and institutional settings, such as nursing home status.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Green, Cameroncag182@pitt.educag182
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFrank, Lindafrankie@pitt.edufrankieUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberYassin, Mohamedmhy8@pitt.edumhyUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberDixon, Heatherdixonh2@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 11 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 29 April 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 37
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Years of Life Lost, Comorbidities, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19
Date Deposited: 11 May 2021 19:12
Last Modified: 11 May 2021 19:12

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