Deaths registered weekly in Scotland , National Records of Scotland, published 20th April 2023
- In week 15 there were 73 deaths involving COVID-19 (3 more than the previous week).
- As of 16th April 2023, there have been a total of 17,366 deaths registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate.
- The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 15 of 2023 (10th to 16th April) was 1,265 (177 or 16% above the 5-year average). This week’s figures will be affected by the Easter Bank Holidays.
Those figures of deaths in more detail where Covid is mentioned:
Age 45 – 64: 7 deaths, 3 Female, 4 Male
Age 65 – 74: 16 deaths, 8 Female, 8 Male
Age 75 – 84: 18 deaths, 6 Female, 12 Male
Age 85+ : 32 deaths, 16 Female, 16 Male
15 of the deaths were in Care Homes, 5 at Home/Non-Institutional Setting and 53 in Hospital.
Of the 73 deaths where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate, Covid was the underlying cause in 56 of them.
There were a total of 1,265 deaths due to all causes, an excess of 177 deaths taken over a 5 year average.
There were excess deaths across all categories. Cancer +21, Dementia/Alzheimer’s +30, Circulatory +25, Respiratory +18 and Other Causes +44
Taken over a longer period it gives a clearer picture of what is happening and the NRS has just published its Monthly report for March 2023. The year 2020 has been excluded from five year averages for the purpose of calculating excess deaths.
The March 2023 Report shows:
- There were 5,646 deaths in March 2023, an increase of 11% from the previous month. The number of deaths was 10% higher than the March five-year average.
- Taking into account the size and age structure of the population, the rate of mortality was 1,199 per 100,000 population. This was 4% higher than the average rate for March.
- In March 2023, there were 526 excess deaths. People aged 80 and over accounted for 62% of all excess deaths last month. There were 2,895 deaths of people aged 80 and over which was 13% higher than average.
- The leading cause of death was ischaemic heart disease, which accounted for 12% of all deaths in March
- For females, the leading cause of death was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (13% of all female deaths in March). For males, the leading cause was ischaemic heart disease (15% of all male deaths in March).
‘The year 2020 has been excluded from five year averages for the purpose of calculating excess deaths;’
Pinch of salt…
The argument in the methodology explanation (https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files/statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-methodology-excess-deaths.pdf):
‘Scotland’s population is ageing. For a number of years prior to the pandemic there was an existing increasing trend in deaths. It could have been expected that the annual number of deaths continued to rise given the increasing proportion of the population in the older age groups, even without the COVID pandemic. To be a useful measure, the five year average must reflect this and use the most recent data where sensible to do so. Therefore, maintaining the current 2015-2019 average to calculate excess deaths in 2022 would be a less meaningful comparison.’
However, given that Covid has
a) already caused demographic changes,
b) mortality displacement has occurred,
I find the argument above not particularly convincing and would argue that it would have been more appropriate to maintain the 2015 – 2019 average at least for now and probably even the next year(s).