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Authors: Gianicolo, Emilio A. L.
Russo, Antonello
Büchler, Britta
Taylor, Katherine
Stang, Andreas
Blettner, Maria
Title: Gender specific excess mortality in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic accounting for age
Online publication date: 16-Aug-2022
Year of first publication: 2021
Language: english
Abstract: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, data have been accumulated to examine excess mortality in the first half of 2020. Mortality in the preceding year or years is used to calculate the expected number of deaths, which is then compared with the actual number of deaths in 2020. We calculated weekly age- and sex-specific mortality rates for 93.1% of the Italian municipalities for the years 2015–2019 and for the first 26 weeks in 2020. We assumed the mortality experience during 2015–2019 as the reference period to calculate standardised mortality ratios. Furthermore, in order to compare the mortality experience of males and females, we calculated sex- and age- specific weekly direct standardised mortality rates and differences between the observed and expected number of deaths. We observed considerable changes in the demographics in the Italian population between the years 2015 and 2020, particularly among people 60 years and older and among males. The population is aging and the proportion of elderly males has increased, which was not reflected adequately in previous estimates of excess mortality. Standardized excess mortality results show that in Italy between the 8th and 26th weeks in 2020, there were 33,035 excess deaths, which is only 643 fewer deaths than the official COVID-19 death toll for this time period. A comparative increase in the mortality rates was observed in March among both sexes, but particularly for males. Comparisons with recently published data show considerably higher excess deaths, but these data were either not covering the complete country or did not account for age and sex. Neglecting the demographic changes in a region, even over a short time span, can result in biased estimates.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: European journal of immunology
Pages or article number: 213
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Publisher place: Cham
Issue date: 2021
ISSN: 1573-7284
Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s10654-021-00717-9
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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