Average life expectancy in Italy fell 1.2 years in 2020 due to COVID-19, official statistics revealed Monday, with the drop over four years in the regions hit hardest by the pandemic.
Life expectancy at birth last year stood at 82 years, compared to 83.2 years in 2019, the Istat national statistics office said in a news release.
"In 2020, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting sharp increase in mortality abruptly interrupted the growth in life expectancy at birth that had characterized the trend until 2019," it said in a statement.
The drop was even steeper in some regions such as the northern provinces of Bergamo and Cremona, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020.
Men lost on average 4.3 and 4.5 years while women lost 3.2 years and 2.9 years in these areas.
More than 129,500 people with coronavirus have died in Italy, the majority in the northern regions where 36% of Italians live.
Italy was the first European country to face a major outbreak of COVID-19 and for a time the region of Lombardy, the nation's economic heart, became the epicenter of the global pandemic.
The government has since rolled out a vaccination program that, as of Monday evening, had seen almost 72% of the population over 12 fully jabbed.