At least one other condition contributed to 97% of Covid-related deaths in Ireland - CSO

Diseases of the respiratory system were most common additional factor with Covid listed as sole cause on just 3 per cent of death certificates

Almost all of those who died from Covid-19 had other medical conditions on their death certificates, according to a new analysis by the Central Statistics Office.

Covid-19 was reported as the single cause of 183 deaths during the pandemic, whereas 5,201 deaths (almost 97 per cent) were certified as having had Covid-19 and at least one other medical condition.

These medical conditions could be pre-existing or complications of Covid-19.

The latest CSO analysis focuses on deaths due to Covid-19 occurring in Ireland between March 1st, 2020 and February 28th, 2022, classified according to their accompanying medical conditions.


A death due to Covid-19 differs from a death with Covid-19, in that Covid-19 is identified as the main underlying cause of death in those who died due to Covid-19, while it is one of a number of conditions listed in deaths certified as a death with Covid-19,” explained CSO statistician Gerard Doolan.

In the CSO analysis, the virus was identified as the underlying cause of death in 5,384 cases. Overall, it was reported as a medical condition in 6,255 cases during the period.

Four in five deaths from Covid-19 had at least three medical conditions mentioned on the death record. Death certificates listed 4.2 conditions on average per person.

The largest number of accompanying conditions of Covid-19 deaths were diseases of the respiratory system, which were reported in 5,279 (or 98 per cent) of virus deaths.

Pneumonia was certified as a condition in 3,023 — 56 per cent — of Covid-19 deaths. Chronic lower respiratory diseases were stated on 948 (or 18 per cent) of death certificates, of which 714 (or 13 per cent) had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Covid-19 was certified in 18 per cent of all asthma deaths, and in 19 per cent of all obesity deaths.

The CSO says 91 per cent of Covid-19 deaths occurred in people aged 65 and over; 75 per cent in people aged 75 and over; and 42 per cent in people aged 85 and over.

More males died due to Covid-19 (53 per cent) than women.

According to the Department of Health, there were 325 patients with Covid-19 in hospital on Tuesday, down from 361 the previous day. This included 16 patients in ICU, down two.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times