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New figures show 4 in 5 Covid deaths had at least 3 other medical conditions

According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Tuesday, death records listed an average of 4.2 conditions per person who died from the virus.

Stock image. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA© PA

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

80pc of deaths from Covid-19 had at least three other medical conditions mentioned on the death certificate, according to new figures.

According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Tuesday, death records listed an average of 4.2 conditions per person who died from the virus.

Covid was identified as the underlying cause of death in 5,384 cases between March 2020 and February 2022.

The CSO has said that an underlying cause of death refers to the “disease or injury that initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death”, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

“It is worth noting that as a single death certificate can contain multiple accompanying medical conditions, the figures of deaths by condition do not represent the actual number of deaths from Covid-19,” CSO statistician Gerard Doolan explained.

The CSO figures show that most accompanying conditions of Covid deaths were diseases of the respiratory system, which were reported in 5,279 (98pc) of Covid deaths.

The second-largest number of accompanying conditions in Covid deaths were diseases of the circulatory system which were reported in 4,259 (79pc) deaths.

Pneumonia was certified as a condition in just over half of the record deaths at 3,023.

Chronic lower respiratory diseases were stated on 948 (18pc) death certificates, with 714 (13pc) having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Covid was the underlying cause of death in almost 6pc of all deaths involving prostate cancer, 3pc of all deaths mentioning breast cancer, and 2.3pc of all deaths involving lung cancer.

A whopping 91pc of Covid deaths occurred in persons aged 65 and over, while 75pc who died of Covid were aged 75 and over and 42 pc were 85 and over.

Additionally, 53pc of those who died from Covid were male, while 47pc were female.

It is worth noting that these CSO figures are provisional and based on deaths notified to the General Register Office which were subsequently notified to the CSO.


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