Antrim and Newtownabbey sees ‘highest excess deaths as a proportion above expected levels’ during pandemic
Latest figures published today (Thursday) by NISRA show that there were 1,958 excess deaths from March 1 to December 31 2020, 15.4 per cent above expected levels.
The figures also show that in the same period, there were 1,903 Covid-19 related deaths.
Belfast LGD had the largest number of excess deaths (310), accounting for 15.8 per cent of excess deaths in Northern Ireland.
However, Antrim and Newtownabbey LGD had the highest excess deaths as a proportion above expected levels (28.1 per cent), while Derry City and Strabane LGD had the lowest (7.4 per cent).
Excess deaths were highest in the two least deprived areas, with around a 19 per cent increase in deaths in both, compared to expected levels.
A NISRA spokesperson said: “Excess deaths are a mathematical concept based on the difference between actual deaths from all causes in a period minus the expected number of deaths based on the average deaths for the same period over the last five years.
“The number of excess deaths for males (1,045) is higher than that for females (913), whilst the number of Covid‑19 related deaths is slightly lower (948 male compared to 955 female deaths).
“Three-quarters of excess deaths (74.9 per cent) and Covid‑19 related deaths (77.8 per cent) are accounted for by those aged 75 and over. In this age group, the number of excess deaths were 17.9 per cent above expected levels, compared to 15.4 per cent for all ages.
“The highest excess deaths as a proportion of expected levels were found for those aged 55 to 64 (older working age) in both males (21.6 per cent) and females (18.7 per cent).”
The spokesperson added: “The number of deaths in hospitals was slightly higher (+1.8 per cent) than expected levels, as a combined effect of 1,156 Covid‑19 related deaths occurring in hospitals but 1,046 fewer non Covid-19 deaths in hospital.
“In contrast, there were more non Covid-19 deaths occurring at home: combined with the 119 Covid-19 related deaths at home, this resulted in the majority of excess deaths (1,395 or 71.3 per cent) occurring at home.
“In the first three months of the pandemic (March to May 2020), Covid-19 was found to be the underlying cause for 706 deaths, accounting for 79.0 per cent of the 894 excess deaths in that period.
“Deaths due to malignant neoplasm (+6.8 per cent) and dementia/Alzheimer’s disease (+13.1 per cent) were above historical levels, whilst there were fewer respiratory deaths (-14.3 per cent) compared to the previous five years.”
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