The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has today published a report on pre-existing conditions associated with Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland.

Between 1st March and 30th September 2020, there were 902 Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland. Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death (that is, the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death) for 807 deaths (89.5% of Covid‑19 related deaths).

Covid 19

Pre-existing conditions are defined as any mention on the death certificate of a condition that pre‑dated or was independent of Covid-19. The average number of pre-existing conditions was 2.32; slightly higher for males (2.40) compared to females (2.24). There were no pre-existing conditions for 77 of the 902 Covid-19 related deaths (8.5%).

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the most common pre-existing condition, appearing in 327 of the 902 Covid-19 related deaths (36.3%). The next most common pre-existing conditions were hypertensive diseases (180) and diabetes (165 deaths).

The main pre-existing condition, the one most likely to cause death in the absence of Covid-19, was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (297), followed by ischaemic heart diseases (81) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (67 deaths).

During October and November 2020, a further 504 Covid-19 related deaths were registered, of which 37 deaths (7.3%) had no pre-existing conditions. At present, there is insufficient information to identify the number and type of pre-existing conditions over this two-month period.

Over the entire period between 1st March and 30th November 2020, there were 1,406 Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland, including 114 deaths (8.1%) without pre-existing conditions.


December 2020

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