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2.
SSM - Population Health ; : 101118, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1821485

ABSTRACT

Excess mortality has been used to measure the impact of COVID-19 over time and across countries. But what baseline should be chosen? We propose two novel approaches: an alternative retrospective baseline derived from the lowest weekly death rates achieved in previous years and a within-year baseline based on the average of the 13 lowest weekly death rates within the same year. These baselines express normative levels of the lowest feasible target death rates. The excess death rates calculated from these baselines are not distorted by past mortality peaks and do not treat non-pandemic winter mortality excesses as inevitable. We obtained weekly series for 35 industrialized countries from the Human Mortality Database in 2000–2020. Observed, baseline and excess mortalities were measured by age-standardized death rates. We assessed weekly and annual excess death rates driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and those related to seasonal (predominantly) respiratory infections in earlier years. There was a distinct geographic pattern with high excess death rates in Eastern Europe followed by parts of the UK, and countries of Southern and Western Europe. Some Asia-Pacific and Scandinavian countries experienced lower excess mortality. In 2020 and earlier years, the alternative retrospective and the within-year excess mortality figures were higher than estimates based on conventional metrics. While the latter were typically negative or close to zero in “normal” years without extraordinary epidemics, the alternative estimates were substantial. Cumulation of this usual excess over 2–3 years results in human losses comparable to those caused by COVID-19. Challenging the view that non-pandemic seasonal winter mortality is inevitable would focus attention on reducing premature mortality in many countries. As SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to be the last respiratory pathogen with the potential to cause a pandemic, such measures would also strengthen global resilience in the face of similar threats in the future.

3.
Euro Surveill ; 27(13)2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775604

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSince March 2020, 440 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but the true number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 is higher. SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence can add crucial epidemiological information about population infection dynamics.AimTo provide a large population-based SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence survey from Norway; we estimated SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence before introduction of vaccines and described its distribution across demographic groups.MethodsIn this population-based cross-sectional study, a total of 110,000 people aged 16 years or older were randomly selected during November-December 2020 and invited to complete a questionnaire and provide a dried blood spot (DBS) sample.ResultsThe response rate was 30% (31,458/104,637); compliance rate for return of DBS samples was 88% (27,700/31,458). National weighted and adjusted seroprevalence was 0.9% (95% CI (confidence interval): 0.7-1.0). Seroprevalence was highest among those aged 16-19 years (1.9%; 95% CI: 0.9-2.9), those born outside the Nordic countries 1.4% (95% CI: 1.0-1.9), and in the counties of Oslo 1.7% (95% CI: 1.2-2.2) and Vestland 1.4% (95% CI: 0.9-1.8). The ratio of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (0.9%) to cumulative incidence of virologically detected cases by mid-December 2020 (0.8%) was slightly above one. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was low before introduction of vaccines in Norway and was comparable to virologically detected cases, indicating that most cases in the first 10 months of the pandemic were detected.ConclusionFindings suggest that preventive measures including contact tracing have been effective, people complied with physical distancing recommendations, and local efforts to contain outbreaks have been essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Vaccination , Young Adult
4.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 14: 100295, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747703

ABSTRACT

Background: Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. Methods: On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. Findings: We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. Interpretation: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. Funding: Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1.

5.
Diagn Progn Res ; 6(1): 6, 2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Obtaining accurate estimates of the risk of COVID-19-related death in the general population is challenging in the context of changing levels of circulating infection. METHODS: We propose a modelling approach to predict 28-day COVID-19-related death which explicitly accounts for COVID-19 infection prevalence using a series of sub-studies from new landmark times incorporating time-updating proxy measures of COVID-19 infection prevalence. This was compared with an approach ignoring infection prevalence. The target population was adults registered at a general practice in England in March 2020. The outcome was 28-day COVID-19-related death. Predictors included demographic characteristics and comorbidities. Three proxies of local infection prevalence were used: model-based estimates, rate of COVID-19-related attendances in emergency care, and rate of suspected COVID-19 cases in primary care. We used data within the TPP SystmOne electronic health record system linked to Office for National Statistics mortality data, using the OpenSAFELY platform, working on behalf of NHS England. Prediction models were developed in case-cohort samples with a 100-day follow-up. Validation was undertaken in 28-day cohorts from the target population. We considered predictive performance (discrimination and calibration) in geographical and temporal subsets of data not used in developing the risk prediction models. Simple models were contrasted to models including a full range of predictors. RESULTS: Prediction models were developed on 11,972,947 individuals, of whom 7999 experienced COVID-19-related death. All models discriminated well between individuals who did and did not experience the outcome, including simple models adjusting only for basic demographics and number of comorbidities: C-statistics 0.92-0.94. However, absolute risk estimates were substantially miscalibrated when infection prevalence was not explicitly modelled. CONCLUSIONS: Our proposed models allow absolute risk estimation in the context of changing infection prevalence but predictive performance is sensitive to the proxy for infection prevalence. Simple models can provide excellent discrimination and may simplify implementation of risk prediction tools.

6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(2): 463-465, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650757

ABSTRACT

Population-based data on coronavirus disease in Russia and on the immunogenicity of the Sputnik V vaccine are sparse. In a survey of 1,080 residents of Arkhangelsk 40-75 years of age, 65% were seropositive for IgG. Fifteen percent of participants had been vaccinated; of those, 97% were seropositive.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Russia/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies
7.
The Lancet regional health. Europe ; 14:100295-100295, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1615360

ABSTRACT

Background Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. Methods On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. Findings We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. Interpretation COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. Funding Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1

8.
PLoS Med ; 19(1): e1003870, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608093

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Excess mortality captures the total effect of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on mortality and is not affected by misspecification of cause of death. We aimed to describe how health and demographic factors were associated with excess mortality during, compared to before, the pandemic. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analysed a time series dataset including 9,635,613 adults (≥40 years old) registered at United Kingdom general practices contributing to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We extracted weekly numbers of deaths and numbers at risk between March 2015 and July 2020, stratified by individual-level factors. Excess mortality during Wave 1 of the UK pandemic (5 March to 27 May 2020) compared to the prepandemic period was estimated using seasonally adjusted negative binomial regression models. Relative rates (RRs) of death for a range of factors were estimated before and during Wave 1 by including interaction terms. We found that all-cause mortality increased by 43% (95% CI 40% to 47%) during Wave 1 compared with prepandemic. Changes to the RR of death associated with most sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were small during Wave 1 compared with prepandemic. However, the mortality RR associated with dementia markedly increased (RR for dementia versus no dementia prepandemic: 3.5, 95% CI 3.4 to 3.5; RR during Wave 1: 5.1, 4.9 to 5.3); a similar pattern was seen for learning disabilities (RR prepandemic: 3.6, 3.4 to 3.5; during Wave 1: 4.8, 4.4 to 5.3), for black or South Asian ethnicity compared to white, and for London compared to other regions. Relative risks for morbidities were stable in multiple sensitivity analyses. However, a limitation of the study is that we cannot assume that the risks observed during Wave 1 would apply to other waves due to changes in population behaviour, virus transmission, and risk perception. CONCLUSIONS: The first wave of the UK COVID-19 pandemic appeared to amplify baseline mortality risk to approximately the same relative degree for most population subgroups. However, disproportionate increases in mortality were seen for those with dementia, learning disabilities, non-white ethnicity, or living in London.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Mortality/trends , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Time Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
9.
SSM Popul Health ; 17: 101006, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586469

ABSTRACT

Background: Russia has been portrayed in media as having one of the highest death tolls due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. However, the precise scale of excess mortality is still unclear. We provide the first estimates of excess mortality in Russia as a whole and its regions in 2020, placing this in an international context. Methods: We used monthly death rates for Russia and 83 regions plus the equivalent for 36 comparator countries. Expected mortality was derived in two ways using averages in the same months in preceding years and the same averages adjusted for secular trends. Excess death rates were estimated for the whole year and the last 3 quarters. We also estimated the relationships between excess mortality and reported COVID-19 cases and deaths across countries and Russian regions. Results: Estimating excess deaths rates based on the trend-adjusted average, Russia had the highest excess mortality of any of the 37 countries considered. Using the simple average, Russia had the third highest. Most of the excess deaths were recorded in the 4th quarter of 2020 and the level and trajectory of excess mortality in Russia and most of Eastern European countries differed from that in Western countries. While both the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases and deaths showed positive correlations with excess mortality across countries (r=0.65 and r=0.75, p<0.001), the association across the Russian regions was, surprisingly, negative for cases (r=-0.34, p<0.01) and deaths (r=-0.09, p=0.42). When we replaced reported deaths with final data from death certificates the correlation was positive (r=0.38, p<0.001). Conclusion: Russia has one of the largest absolute burden of excess mortality in 2020 but there is a counter-intuitive negative association between excess mortality and cumulative incidence at the regional level. Under-recording of COVID-19 cases seems to be a problem in some regions.

10.
Sci Data ; 8(1): 235, 2021 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397887

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed substantial coverage and quality gaps in existing international and national statistical monitoring systems. It is striking that obtaining timely, accurate, and comparable across countries data in order to adequately respond to unexpected epidemiological threats is very challenging. The most robust and reliable approach to quantify the mortality burden due to short-term risk factors is based on estimating weekly excess deaths. This approach is more reliable than monitoring deaths with COVID-19 diagnosis or calculating incidence or fatality rates affected by numerous problems such as testing coverage and comparability of diagnostic approaches. In response to the emerging data challenges, a new data resource on weekly mortality has been established. The Short-term Mortality Fluctuations (STMF, available at www.mortality.org ) data series is the first international database providing open-access harmonized, uniform, and fully documented data on weekly all-cause mortality. The STMF online vizualisation tool provides an opportunity to perform a quick assessment of the excess weekly mortality in one or several countries by means of an interactive graphical interface.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Databases, Factual , Mortality , Pandemics , Humans , Risk Factors
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