Covid-19: Majority of fatalities had underlying conditions

Official data shows 83% of those who died from disease had at least one other ailment

The figures reveal that in excess of 10,000 more women than men have been infected by Covid-19 in the State. File photograph: The Irish Times

The figures reveal that in excess of 10,000 more women than men have been infected by Covid-19 in the State. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

More than eight out of 10 people who have died as a result of Covid-19 have had an underlying condition, most commonly chronic heart disease.

Of the more than 2,706 people who died up from coronavirus up to and including last Friday, January 22nd, 2,250 had underlying conditions (83 per cent), according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) analysis of deaths from the virus.

The most common underlying condition was chronic heart disease which accounted for 43 per cent of those fatalities or 967 cases in total.

This was followed by chronic neurological disease such as dementia (771), hypertension (520), chronic respiratory disease (450), chronic kidney disease (281), diabetes (389), chronic liver disease (46) and obesity (body-mass index above 40) 47.

Obesity accounted for the youngest average age of death at 65 and the median age (half are above and half below) is 53.

Of those who died with an underlying condition, 66 per cent had one, 678 had two and 355 had three or more co-morbidities.

The mortality statistics underline the importance of vaccinating vulnerable cohorts in the population. More than 63 per cent of all deaths (1,720) were in people over 80.

When that is added to the cohort of those aged between 65 and 79 (786), it means that 93 per cent of people who have died from Covid-19 in the State are over the age of 65.

The Government intends to vaccinate everybody over the age of 70 in the third tier of those to be vaccinated.

Nobody is listed as having died between the ages of birth and 24. Twenty-five died between the ages of 25 and 44, with 173 between the ages of 45 and 64 and 786 were between 65 and 79.

What about healthcare workers?

The figures reveal that in excess of 10,000 more women than men have been infected by Covid-19 in the State which may reflect the greater number of women who are carers and healthcare workers.

Of the 188,022 who tested positive for Covid-19 up to an including January 22nd, 99,045 (53 per cent) were women and 88,977 were men (47 per cent).

Yet rates of mortality for the sexes were reversed, with men accounting for 52 per cent of all fatalities (1,444) and women 48 per cent (1,262).

Some 22,638 healthcare workers had Covid-19 in the period covered by the CSO statistics and 11 have died.

The week ending on January 22nd had the highest number of deaths at 318. The previous highest number of deaths was 274 on the week ending April 27th.

The highest recorded number of hospitalisations in a week was 1,298 for the week ending January 15th.

In the last four weeks, 7,527 cases have been linked to an outbreak and of these 3,294 (44 per cent) were in nursing homes, 866 (12 per cent) were in residential institutions and 1,083 (15 per cent) were in hospital or a community hospital/long-stay unit.

The over-80 age group comprised 22 per cent of all cases linked to an outbreak over this period; this is 40 per cent of all confirmed cases in this age group.

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