Pandemic-implications go far beyond the official COVID-19-death numbers
In the context of the COVID-19-pandemic, various studies have found a significant excess mortality in many regions. In a COVID-19-Hotspot in Italy has increased the mortality rate enormously. According to a new study, there were there in March 2020, more deaths than in the entire last year.
Day-to-day, published statistics on infection and mortality rates of the Coronavirus. However, the health impact of the pandemic go far beyond the official COVID-19-mortality figures. This is also a new study by researchers at shows in Germany.
Only half of the deceased were reported as COVID-19-deaths
According to a study of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the North Italian municipality of Nembro died in March 2020, more inhabitants than in the whole of last year.
As it says in a message, but only about half of the in the spring of deceased people as COVID-19-deaths reported.
The experts say the study highlights that the health effects of a pandemic can be significantly more than the official COVID-19-death figures, and a look at the total mortality for the assessment of the Situation is important.
The results were published in the specialist magazine “The BMJ”.
85 of 218 Infected died
Lombardy in Northern Italy is one of the most difficult of the Coronavirus pandemic-affected regions in Europe.
In spite of the high official COVID-19-death figures to the peak of the infection wave the impression that these Numbers could not explain the observed strain on the health care system is completely emerged but before the place.
So also in Nembro, a small town with about 11,500 inhabitants in the province of Bergamo, where at the end of February, the first Coronavirus cases were reported. The number of confirmed Infected has risen to 11. April 218.
Up to the 16. April had died of 85 of them. In April, the total mortality was probably mainly due to the strict isolation measures – again.
Mortality independent of the cause of death
A research team under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Dr. Tobias Kurth, Director of the Institute for Public Health (IPH) of the Charité has studied the local mortality, irrespective of the cause of death, in order to quantify the actual impact of the pandemic on the local health system better.
The result of the in cooperation with Milan’s Centro Medico Santagostino incurred study: During the most infectious action in spring of 2020, the same number died again to the people, as is well known in connection with the new Virus died.
For precise epidemiological calculation of causes independent of the death rate – the so-called total mortality using the researchers data from the period between the beginning of 2012 and mid-April, 2020, coming from multiple sources: the Italian statistical office (ISTAT), the residents ‘ registration office of Nembro, as well as the COVID-19-Dashboard Lombardy.
“Nembro is a small place with a very stable population structure and little To – or away,” explains Prof. Kurth.
“Together with the very good sources of data he offered particularly suitable conditions for a reliable descriptive epidemiological analysis to the question, what is the impact of a confusing infection happened during the COVID-19-pandemic on the health of the population.”
Massive increase in the death rate
According to the statistical analysis had died in the last few years, the municipality is usually a little more than 100 people. So, there were about in the years 2018 and 2019, a total of 128 and 121 deaths.
By contrast, died in the three and a half months between 1. January 2020 and the 11. April 2020 in Nembro 194 people, including 151 in March. Translated, this results in a total monthly mortality of approximately 154 deaths per 1,000 person-years in March 2020, are almost eleven times as many Deaths as in March of the previous year, when there were 14 deaths per 1,000 person-years.
According to the figures, the biggest increase in deaths during the wave of Infection in individuals was observed from the age of 65 years, especially in men. 14 of the deceased were younger than 65 years.
“This is a very massive increase in the death rate in March of 2020, we can values against the Background of the otherwise very stable overall mortality in Nembro, only as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Marco Piccininni, a scientist at the IPH and first author of the study.
During the infection wave (at the end of February to beginning of April) deaths of 166 people, only 85 were positive for the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to be tested and officially as COVID-19-fatalities have been reported.
The pandemic consequences are significantly more serious
“This is an enormous discrepancy, which shows the consequences of The pandemic for the health of the population in Nembro were significantly more severe than the reported COVID-19-suggest deaths,” says Piccininni.
The reasons for this discrepancy, the author see the authors of the study, mainly in two factors: firstly, it is likely that not all of the Coronavirus have been Infected recognized as such – for example, because the test material was scarce, and not all suspected cases laboratory have been diagnostically tested.
A second reason could be that patients with other disorders had poorer access to health care: either because the capacity of the health system by COVID-was exhausted in 19 cases, or because they didn’t want to go to out of fear of an infection in the hospital.
“For a precise assessment of the health impact of the pandemic, we must not look only to the confirmed COVID-19-death numbers,” says Prof. Kurth.
“To be able to spot the applicable mitigation measures to adjust the Situation, should be current data to the regional total mortality taken into account. Unfortunately, data on total mortality are not retrievable in a timely manner. I welcome the fact that preliminary data for Germany are Recently available.“ (ad)