The FINANCIAL - COVID-19 Death on Holidays: 44.8% above the five-year average

COVID-19 Death on Holidays: 44.8% above the five-year average

COVID-19 Death on Holidays: 44.8% above the five-year average

The FINANCIAL -- The number of deaths registered in England and Wales was affected by the Christmas Day Bank Holiday; 11,520 deaths were registered in the week ending 25 December 2020 (Week 52), 1,491 fewer deaths than in Week 51; trends in this week's release should be interpreted with caution.
In Week 52, the number of deaths registered was 44.8% above the five-year average (3,566 deaths higher) but this increase should be treated with caution; the five-year average was particularly low in Week 52 as the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, all contained two bank holidays, whereas Week 52 of 2020 only contained one bank holiday so would likely have more deaths registered.

Of the deaths registered in Week 52, 2,912 mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", accounting for 25.3% of all deaths in England and Wales; in Week 52, deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased compared with Week 51 (by 74 deaths).
Of the 2,912 deaths involving COVID-19, 2,497 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (85.7%).
Of the 2,578 deaths that involved Influenza and Pneumonia, 270 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (10.5%).
The number of deaths in all locations (hospitals, care homes, private homes and other locations) was above the five-year average in Week 52.
In England, the total number of deaths decreased from 12,113 (Week 51) to 10,680 (Week 52); all English regions had a higher number of deaths than the five-year average for the seventh week in a row.
In Week 52, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in five of the nine English regions compared with Week 51, but continued to increase in the North East, East and London.
In Wales, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased from 256 deaths (Week 51) to 278 deaths (Week 52) while the total number of deaths in Week 52 was 307 higher than the five-year average.
Based on a statistical model that allows for the time taken for deaths to be registered, we estimate that the number of deaths actually occurring (rather than registered) in Week 52 in England and Wales was between 12,683 and 16,574.

The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales decreased from 13,011 in Week 51 (week ending 18 December 2020) to 11,520 in Week 52 (week ending 25 December 2020). The number of deaths was 44.8% above the five-year average (3,566 deaths higher).

A decrease between Weeks 51 and 52 is usually observed because of the impact of the Christmas bank holidays. One of the reasons that 2020 is above the five-year average is because Week 52 of 2020 had one bank holiday compared with Week 52 having two bank holidays in four of the five years (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019) in the five-year average. The trends should therefore be interpreted with caution this week and next week.

In England, the number of deaths decreased from 12,113 in Week 51 to 10,680 in Week 52, which was 3,259 deaths (30.5%) higher than the Week 52 five-year average.

In Wales, the number of deaths decreased from 882 in Week 51 to 825 in Week 52, which was 307 deaths (37.2%) higher than the Week 52 five-year average.


The number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in Week 52

There was one bank holiday in Week 52 in 2020, compared with two bank holidays in four of the years in the five-year average.

The number of death registrations in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased, from 2,986 in Week 51 to 2,912 in Week 52 - a 2.5% decrease. Of all deaths registered in Week 52, 25.3% mentioned COVID-19; this is the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 since Week 20 (week ending 8 May 2020).

In England, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 was 2,631, accounting for 24.6% of all deaths. In Wales, 278 deaths involved COVID-19, 33.7% of all deaths.

Of the 2,912 deaths that involved COVID-19, 2,497 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (85.7%, Figure 2). Of the 2,578 deaths that involved Influenza and Pneumonia, 270 had this coded as the underlying cause of death (10.5%).

Deaths that involved both COVID-19, and Influenza and Pneumonia have been included in both categories for consistency when comparing with the underlying cause of death. Influenza and Pneumonia has been included for comparison, as a well-understood cause of death involving respiratory infection that is likely to have somewhat similar risk factors to COVID-19.

13,197 deaths occurred in England and Wales, with a 95% confidence interval of 12,763 to 13,732.

Based on an incomplete count of registrations in Week 52, we estimate that the number of deaths occurring in Week 52 is likely to be 14,439, with a 95% confidence interval of 12,683 to 16,574.

Between Weeks 1 and 12 in 2020, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 fewer than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 52, 465,129 deaths were registered, which was 77,738 more than the five-year average.

Using the most up-to-date data we have available, the number of deaths up to 25 December 2020 was 604,029, which is 72,900 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 25 December 2020, 78,467 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate. This is 13.0% of all deaths in England and Wales.

In England, the number of deaths up to 25 December 2020 was 566,132, which is 69,823 (12.3%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 73,772 deaths (13.0%) mentioned COVID-19.

In Wales, the number of deaths up to 25 December 2020 was 37,067, which is 3,736 (10.1%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 4,651 deaths (12.5%) mentioned COVID-19.

Deaths registered by age group

In Week 52 (week ending 25 December 2020), the number of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales decreased in most age groups compared with Week 51, except for in people aged between 70 and 84 years where there was an increase (71 more deaths). The biggest decrease was seen in those aged 90 years and over (97 fewer deaths). More than three-quarters (76.4%) of deaths involving COVID-19 were in people aged 75 years and over.

Across Weeks 1 to 52 of 2020, 55.4% of all deaths involving COVID-19 were in males. There were more deaths in females aged 85 years and over (17,584) than males aged 85 years and over (15,307). However, these numbers do not account for the population structure where there are more women aged over 85 years than men.

In Week 52 (week ending 25 December 2020), the total number of deaths registered was higher than the five-year average in all English regions and Wales for the seventh week in a row (Figure 5). The largest increase on the five-year average was for the West Midlands (61.6% higher).

In Week 52, there were 278 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in Wales - a 8.6% increase compared with Week 51 (256 deaths).

Across the English regions, the South East had the largest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (415 deaths) although the number of COVID-19 deaths in this region is a decline compared to the previous week. The English region with the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 was the East Midlands.

Author: The FINANCIAL


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