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PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003904, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686090


BACKGROUND: Deaths in the first year of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in England and Wales were unevenly distributed socioeconomically and geographically. However, the full scale of inequalities may have been underestimated to date, as most measures of excess mortality do not adequately account for varying age profiles of deaths between social groups. We measured years of life lost (YLL) attributable to the pandemic, directly or indirectly, comparing mortality across geographic and socioeconomic groups. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used national mortality registers in England and Wales, from 27 December 2014 until 25 December 2020, covering 3,265,937 deaths. YLLs (main outcome) were calculated using 2019 single year sex-specific life tables for England and Wales. Interrupted time-series analyses, with panel time-series models, were used to estimate expected YLL by sex, geographical region, and deprivation quintile between 7 March 2020 and 25 December 2020 by cause: direct deaths (COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases), cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cancer, and other indirect deaths (all other causes). Excess YLL during the pandemic period were calculated by subtracting observed from expected values. Additional analyses focused on excess deaths for region and deprivation strata, by age-group. Between 7 March 2020 and 25 December 2020, there were an estimated 763,550 (95% CI: 696,826 to 830,273) excess YLL in England and Wales, equivalent to a 15% (95% CI: 14 to 16) increase in YLL compared to the equivalent time period in 2019. There was a strong deprivation gradient in all-cause excess YLL, with rates per 100,000 population ranging from 916 (95% CI: 820 to 1,012) for the least deprived quintile to 1,645 (95% CI: 1,472 to 1,819) for the most deprived. The differences in excess YLL between deprivation quintiles were greatest in younger age groups; for all-cause deaths, a mean of 9.1 years per death (95% CI: 8.2 to 10.0) were lost in the least deprived quintile, compared to 10.8 (95% CI: 10.0 to 11.6) in the most deprived; for COVID-19 and other respiratory deaths, a mean of 8.9 years per death (95% CI: 8.7 to 9.1) were lost in the least deprived quintile, compared to 11.2 (95% CI: 11.0 to 11.5) in the most deprived. For all-cause mortality, estimated deaths in the most deprived compared to the most affluent areas were much higher in younger age groups, but similar for those aged 85 or over. There was marked variability in both all-cause and direct excess YLL by region, with the highest rates in the North West. Limitations include the quasi-experimental nature of the research design and the requirement for accurate and timely recording. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed strong socioeconomic and geographical health inequalities in YLL, during the first calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic. These were in line with long-standing existing inequalities in England and Wales, with the most deprived areas reporting the largest numbers in potential YLL.

COVID-19/mortality , Adult , Aged , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Cause of Death , Diabetes Mellitus/mortality , England/epidemiology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Life Expectancy , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/mortality , Residence Characteristics , Respiratory Tract Diseases/mortality , Socioeconomic Factors , Wales/epidemiology
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 7: 100144, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260817


BACKGROUND: Excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with those expected from historical trends have been unequally distributed, both geographically and socioeconomically. Not all excess deaths have been directly related to COVID-19 infection. We investigated geographical and socioeconomic patterns in excess deaths for major groups of underlying causes during the pandemic. METHODS: Weekly mortality data from 27/12/2014 to 2/10/2020 for England and Wales were obtained from the Office of National Statistics. Negative binomial regressions were used to model death counts based on pre-pandemic trends for deaths caused directly by COVID-19 (and other respiratory causes) and those caused indirectly by it (cardiovascular disease or diabetes, cancers, and all other indirect causes) over the first 30 weeks of the pandemic (7/3/2020-2/10/2020). FINDINGS: There were 62,321 (95% CI: 58,849 to 65,793) excess deaths in England and Wales in the first 30 weeks of the pandemic. Of these, 46,221 (95% CI: 45,439 to 47,003) were attributable to respiratory causes, including COVID-19, and 16,100 (95% CI: 13,410 to 18,790) to other causes. Rates of all-cause excess mortality ranged from 78 per 100,000 in the South West of England and in Wales to 130 per 100,000 in the West Midlands; and from 93 per 100,000 in the most affluent fifth of areas to 124 per 100,000 in the most deprived. The most deprived areas had the highest rates of death attributable to COVID-19 and other indirect deaths, but there was no socioeconomic gradient for excess deaths from cardiovascular disease/diabetes and cancer. INTERPRETATION: During the first 30 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic there was significant geographic and socioeconomic variation in excess deaths for respiratory causes, but not for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Pandemic recovery plans, including vaccination programmes, should take account of individual characteristics including health, socioeconomic status and place of residence. FUNDING: None.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys ; 107(4): 631-640, 2020 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615865


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused radiotherapy resource pressures and led to increased risks for lung cancer patients and healthcare staff. An international group of experts in lung cancer radiotherapy established this practice recommendation pertaining to whether and how to adapt radiotherapy for lung cancer in the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: For this ESTRO & ASTRO endorsed project, 32 experts in lung cancer radiotherapy contributed to a modified Delphi consensus process. We assessed potential adaptations of radiotherapy in two pandemic scenarios. The first, an early pandemic scenario of risk mitigation, is characterized by an altered risk-benefit ratio of radiotherapy for lung cancer patients due to their increased susceptibility for severe COVID-19 infection, and minimization of patient travelling and exposure of radiotherapy staff. The second, a later pandemic scenario, is characterized by reduced radiotherapy resources requiring patient triage. Six common lung cancer cases were assessed for both scenarios: peripherally located stage I NSCLC, locally advanced NSCLC, postoperative radiotherapy after resection of pN2 NSCLC, thoracic radiotherapy and prophylactic cranial irradiation for limited stage SCLC and palliative thoracic radiotherapy for stage IV NSCLC. RESULTS: In a risk-mitigation pandemic scenario, efforts should be made not to compromise the prognosis of lung cancer patients by departing from guideline-recommended radiotherapy practice. In that same scenario, postponement or interruption of radiotherapy treatment of COVID-19 positive patients is generally recommended to avoid exposure of cancer patients and staff to an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. In a severe pandemic scenario characterized by reduced resources, if patients must be triaged, important factors for triage include potential for cure, relative benefit of radiation, life expectancy, and performance status. Case-specific consensus recommendations regarding multimodality treatment strategies and fractionation of radiotherapy are provided. CONCLUSION: This joint ESTRO-ASTRO practice recommendation established pragmatic and balanced consensus recommendations in common clinical scenarios of radiotherapy for lung cancer in order to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Lung Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Medical Oncology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Societies, Medical , COVID-19 , Humans , Risk Management , Triage