Saturday, December 4

Covid causes the largest increase in mortality in the province since the 1980s

1,315 people died of covid in the first year of the pandemic in the province. There are 181 more deaths than those reported by the Ministry of Health. A mismatch that would be explained because the INE uses the death certificates signed by doctors as a source and divides deaths related to the coronavirus into two groups: cause of death “with the virus identified” and “suspicion of covid-19 due to having compatible symptoms with the disease.

Main causes of death

Despite the pandemic, diseases of the circulatory system continue to be the leading cause of death among Alicante residents. Heart attacks, heart failure and other heart diseases took 4,618 people in the province last year. Very closely, as the second cause of death, tumors, which caused 4,420 deaths. Lung cancer was the one that caused the most deaths, with about a thousand. Infectious diseases, in which the coronavirus is encompassed, represent the third cause of death in the province, with 1,556 deaths in 2020.

The data offered by the INE coincide with those of the Carlos III Health Institute, which on several occasions during the last year and a half have pointed to an excess of mortality due to the pandemic and taking as a reference the deaths of previous years. The first wave, in spring 2020, caused 34.7% more deaths than expected in the Valencian Community, according to data from the Daily Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo) of the Carlos III Health Institute. However, the highest excess mortality coincides with the third wave, the one that has had the greatest impact in the Valencian Community and which left an excess mortality of 38.3% between December and mid-February of this year. An excess of mortality that may be reflected in the statistics of 2021.

In all of Spain, last year there were 493,776 deaths, 75,073 more than in the previous year, which represents an increase of 17.9 percent. The crude mortality rate was 1,042.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The male rate was 1,075.8 deaths per 100,000 men (with an increase of 16.8%) and the female rate was 1,011.0 per 100,000 women (17.8% higher than in 2019). The months of March and April were those that registered the most deaths. LMortality increased in all age groups, except those under 20 years of age. The greatest increase was registered among people aged 70 to 79 (20.5% more).

Conjunctural situation

The sociologist and dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Alicante, Raúl Ruiz, highlights that this increase in mortality caused by the coronavirus will have an impact on the life expectancy of the Spanish population, which will decrease slightly, «as has happened in other parts of the world. However, he adds that this situation is temporary, caused by the covid, so it is foreseeable that the usual mortality figures will recover in the coming years. “What would be worrying is that this trend continues over time,” he points out.

For his part, the geographer José Vicente Sánchez, believes that this trend in the increase in mortality in the population is going to be very temporary. “The moment the pandemic is controlled because people are vaccinated, the situation will normalize.” In this sense, Sánchez believes, what happened last year “will not have great repercussions on the population structure and everything will be very diluted when this mortality is distributed at the municipal level and by age groups.”

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