A demographic study indicates that a portion of the Covid 19 deaths “definitely” would have been due to diseases “such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory failure.”
Other Causes published Demographic Study
The news won’t change the families’ grief, but it is revealing from a demographic perspective. In 2020, about 68,000 people died of covid-19 in France, but the total number of deaths increased by “only” 55,000.
In fact, some of the Covid deaths would have died “anyway” from another cause, analyzes a demographic study published Wednesday.
Of the 55,000 additional deaths (all causes combined) registered by civil registries in 2020 (compared to 2019), 13,000 are statistically due to the aging of the population observed each year when life expectancy does not increase.”
This mechanically leads to an annual increase in the number of deaths, regardless of an epidemic context.
“This means 42,000 additional deaths in 2020 related to the Covid 19 pandemic,” said the study’s authors, Gilles Pison and France Meslé, of the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED). Santé Publique France, however, projects about 65,000 victims of the virus in 2020, but the study’s authors prefer to re-estimate that number at “slightly more than 68,000,” counting domestic deaths, or “about 5% of deaths if we go by the rates observed abroad.”
Less Flu and Traffic Accidents
The two demographers have several explanations for the difference between the 68,000 deaths caused by the virus and the 42,000 additional deaths observed when the 13,000 deaths due to population aging are subtracted.
On the one hand, seasonal flu was much less deadly in early 2020 than in early 2019, and traffic accidents also claimed far fewer victims due to traffic restrictions during the closed periods.
On the other hand, “other causes of death, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease, are also likely to have decreased,” the authors said. “Some of the frail people suffering from these diseases actually died from Covid-19,” whereas without the pandemic they would have died from one of these diseases “in 2020 anyway.