Impact of COVID-19 on the total Italian Mortality
This article provides a strict and condensed summary of the ISTAT document named Impatto Dell’epidemia Covid-19 Sulla Mortalità Totale Della Popolazione Residente Primo Trimestre 2020 released May 4th 2020. This article is a non-sensationalized analysis the 30 pages content in the orginal, non-translated ISTAT PDF linked below.
The document and this articles compares the March mortality in 2020 vs the average March mortality of 2015-2019.
Important to note that there have not been any notable demographic changes between 2015 and 2020. The average mortality data is coherent from year to year.
49.4% growth in deaths from all causes
- From the February 20 2020 (first COVID-19 death in Italy) to March 31 2020, there has been 90,946 total deaths in Italy.
- From the same period in 2015-2019, there were an average of 65,592 deaths.
There is an excess of 25,354 deaths, of which 54% (13,710) are deaths diagnosed with COVID-19.
91% of this mortality excess is concentrated in areas highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
In 3,271 municipalities and 37 provinces in North Italy, the mortality in March 2020 more than doubled in comparison of the average mortality in 2015-2019.
The most affected region was Lombardy (most populated Italian region), which saw an increase of 186.5%.
Mortality excess is nearly 2x more important in males
- Mortality of men between 70-79 years increased by 2.3 times between Feb 20 and Mar 31, and by 2.2 times in the 80-89 years category.
- Mortality of females, in all ages above 70, increased by 1.2 times.
Three hypotheses may explain the excess of 11,600 deaths not caused by COVID-19
- Further mortality associated with Covid-19, in which the swab test was not performed (no covid testing).
- Indirect mortality associated with Covid-19, that resulted from organ (heart, kidney) disfunction triggered by the viral infection.
- Indirect mortality not related to Covid-19, but caused by the crisis of the hospital system and the associated fear of going to the hospital.
COVID-19 deaths were the major cause of death in March 2020 vs March 2017
- Since the first days of March, deaths caused by Covid-19 were higher than Alzheimer, dementias and diabetes.
- At mid-month, Covid-19 deaths were more common than all respiratory diseases and cancer deaths.
- By March 22, Covid-19 was the main cause of all deaths.
Istat (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica), 04 May 2020
Press release: https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/242149
Translated text PDF (via deepl.com): Rapporto_Istat_ISS_translated (30 pages)