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Death Rates - Are these “extra deaths”?

(49 Posts)
tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 19:13:53

Annual death rates in the UK ranged from around 550000 to 615000 in the period 2011 to 2018

This works out at around 1500 -1600 deaths per day ( although I realise these are not evenly distributed )

Is it possible to determine what proportion of the covid 19 deaths are “extra deaths” ie how many of the people who have died/will die would have been expected to die within the next few months without this virus?

OP’s posts: |
Ridingthegravytrain Thu 26-Mar-20 19:15:21

I’d like to know that too.

viccat Thu 26-Mar-20 19:15:50

It is people who have tested positive for covid-19 and died. There is of course no way to know when they would have died without contracting the virus...

Bluntness100 Thu 26-Mar-20 19:17:19

The chief scientific officer addressed this at one of the conferences, he said there is an overlap but they don’t know by how much and will only do the tally when it’s over.

GrumpyHoonMain Thu 26-Mar-20 19:17:24

I am guessing a large proportion of elderly / at risk people who die from covid would have died any way. However we are seeing deaths in younger people with well controlled diabetes / high bp so there will be plenty of extra deaths

woodencoffeetable Thu 26-Mar-20 19:17:39

bbc 'more or less' podcast explains that one. have a listen.
and yes, most but not all are additional,

cakeisalwaystheanswer Thu 26-Mar-20 19:18:53

I found this interesting regarding Italy.

FaFoutis Thu 26-Mar-20 19:20:30

'more or less' was good on this, it takes the panic out of the statistics somewhat.

Newgirls Thu 26-Mar-20 19:20:42

I think it isn’t that so many people will lose months/years they may have had?

Apparently road casualties are really down at the moment which is good news?

Bitofeverything Thu 26-Mar-20 19:21:43

I read that around two thirds of the tested positive cases are people who would sadly have died anyway.

NamasteAtHome Thu 26-Mar-20 19:21:54

I saw a news article that said on one day of the extra deaths in Wales reported for that day (a few days ago - maybe sat?), that this was people who had died throughout the previous week but then tested positive posthumously and added to the total.

FaFoutis Thu 26-Mar-20 19:23:05

I think they said that most deaths would have been expected within a year.

Laniakea Thu 26-Mar-20 19:23:27

Neil Ferguson (the Imperial scientist) suggests that many deaths will be people who would have died later this year.

“Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College London scientist whose research precipitated tougher government measures last week, told MPs: “It [the deaths of those who would have died anyway] might be as much as half or two thirds of the deaths we see, because these are people at the end of their lives or who have underlying conditions.””

Obviously that’s still a lot of people who weren’t considered to be at the end of their lives.

SarahMused Thu 26-Mar-20 19:33:46

This article on the bbc website explains some of the science I also read that the actual raw number of deaths is actually lower in coronavirus hit areas which have locked down and shut down industry. This is presumed to be because pollution levels are much reduced.

Zebee Thu 26-Mar-20 19:33:52

But the figures don’t include people who will die of other things who would have normally been saved. The cancer patients who aren’t seen early enough the ambulance that doesn’t get there on time because the NHS is swamped. There is a wider impact than deaths specifically labelled as COVID-19 deaths.

tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 19:37:20


That is interesting. But presumably the spike in January could still have been people who would have died between February and December in any case?


Listening to that podcast now.Thanks for the steer.

OP’s posts: |
littlebitwooway Thu 26-Mar-20 19:41:16

Why? What is the point of putting energy into calculating this now to arrive at 'xx number would have died anyway'. What use is this piece of information at the moment? Genuine question.

Even if they would have died anyway, they still need to go to hospital when they get it and receive care and treatment. So we need to stay home so the nhs can cope.

They are not all going to make it, its true, but these are peoples grandparents and parents.

FaFoutis Thu 26-Mar-20 19:43:41

It's a programme about statistics. Not everything is related to the nhs coping and all that.

Bluntness100 Thu 26-Mar-20 19:47:25

I agree, we need to comply because it gives those who need hospital treatment, irrelevant if healthy or not, a better chance of getting that treatment and surviving, even if only for a few weeks or months.

At the point of treatment it should never be a case of “well he’d likely have died this year anyway”.

However in terms of the pandemic itself, it is important to know the actual fatality rate and that’s something no one knows with certainty and won’t be known till after this is finished.

However initial indications are the actual fatality rate is very very low. However to keep it low, people need treatment. No hospital treatment and it could increase hugely,

And to get that hospital treatment for anyone who needs it, be it to live years or weeks, we need to ensure the Nhs doesn’t breach its capacity.

helpfulperson Thu 26-Mar-20 19:47:39

This; is one of the things that makes comparing countries death rates very difficult as they each count them slightly differently.

tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 19:54:47


Why? What is the point of putting energy into calculating this now to arrive at 'xx number would have died anyway'. What use is this piece of information at the moment? Genuine question

I think it is useful in assessing how long we should continue with measures which are having a crippling impact on the economy.

OP’s posts: |
Jaxhog Thu 26-Mar-20 19:56:53

@bluntness100 that is exactly the point.

Dogsandbabies Thu 26-Mar-20 20:00:59

The lack of this information was one of the major flaws in the model produced by Imperial and on which the government relies on.

Really important in order to understand the impact of the virus.

BackforGood Thu 26-Mar-20 21:21:04

I was going to say the same as @Zebee

What these figures won't show, are the people who don't call an ambulance or go to A&E or their Drs with soemthig they aren't sure of as they don't want to be near a hospital right now, or maybe they don't want to put strain on the system. There are lots of things that can be treated when early help is sought, but not if people don't go.

then all the people not going to their GP with early signs of other illnesses - Cancer being one of the most commonly known examples - who, if diagnosed now, might be saved, if not diagnosed for 6 months might have a different outcome.

Though there will be fewer RTAs and accidents a work I suppose.

LWJ70 Mon 27-Apr-20 07:36:34

The second vitamin D3 blood serum study in the world has been published yesterday.
It was a study of 780 Indonesian covid patients.

These are the conclusions of the study:
• Majority of the COVID-19 cases with insufficient and deficient Vitamin D status died.
• The odds of death was higher in older and male cases with pre-existing condition and below normal Vitamin D levels.
• When controlling for age, sex, and comorbidity, Vitamin D status is strongly associated with COVID-19 mortality.

When compared to cases with normal Vitamin D status, death was approximately 10.12 times more likely for Vitamin D deficient cases (OR=10.12; p<0.001).

So we could be 10 times more likely to die of covid 19 if we are admitted to hospital and have vitamin D deficiency even if we have no underlying conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Of course, this study needs to be peer reviewed. You might ask the question, why haven't we got the results from blood serum studies in the UK?

This is a quote from the Indonesian study:

''This is a retrospective cohort study which included two cohorts (active and expired) of 780 cases with laboratory-confirmed infection of SARS-CoV-2. Data between March 2, 2020 (start of outbreak in Indonesia) and April 24, 2020 were obtained from medical records of Indonesia government hospitals. The requirement for informed consent was waived by the Ethics

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