Real UK death rate is much larger than official figures Real UK death rate is much larger than official figures
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  1. #1

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    Default Real UK death rate is much larger than official figures

    According to this, which suggests 47,000 dead. It takes into account non-Covid deaths that are caused by Covid (e.g. cancer pats who are not treated or stroke patients who are afraid to go to hospital and die). The data suggests these non-Covid excess deaths are quite a substantial proportion of the excess deaths.

    Subscribe to read | Financial Times

    Ok political issues aside, from a scientific basis why is the UK rate so high?
    It's high in Belgium too, because old-age care homes were more affected than any other country (75% of deaths by one estimate) and they count those.

    But the UK isn't including care homes in the stats? Or is it? Edit: just realised they are not included.

    Is it a high rate of obesity? Data suggests this a big risk factor.
    More underlying conditions in UK pop? Higher alcohol consumption levels?

    From a scientific point of view it's quite curious.
    Last edited by sasguru; 30th April 2020 at 11:46.
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    FT Article quoted below to get the gist:

    "The coronavirus pandemic appears to be killing more than twice the number of people recorded in daily figures from hospitals, according to the latest official death statistics for England and Wales.

    The data suggest the extent of the crisis is deeper than previously thought, particularly in care homes — where a third of all deaths were recorded in the week to April 17.

    In that week, 22,351 deaths were registered in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics, the highest figure since comparable weekly data started in 1993 and worse than any figure in similar data of the past 50 years. The average for the comparable week from 2015-2019 was 10,497.

    Since the beginning of March, there have been 27,015 more deaths registered up to April 17 than the five-year average for the time of year.

    With an average delay of four days between someone dying and their death being registered, the figures relate to the period to April 13, during which the government said there had been 11,408 deaths of people testing positive for coronavirus in English and Welsh hospitals.
    Column chart of England & Wales showing weekly death registrations have risen to the highest on record

    If data are included from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the dates do not entirely match, 29,751 excess deaths were recorded by mid-April, far above the government’s latest daily running total of 21,678.

    The official figures verified Financial Times modelling that suggested 41,000 people across the UK had died by last Tuesday either directly or indirectly as a result of coronavirus, with the death registrations higher than expected by the FT's model.

    With almost 30,000 excess deaths by mid-April across the UK, approximately two weeks ago, the number of total deaths now is likely to be about 47,000, according to the FT model.

    Much of the increase in deaths has been recorded in care homes. In the week to April 17, 7,316 deaths were recorded in care homes, compared with an average of 2,154 for that week in care homes over the past five years. The fact that excess deaths in care homes were 5,000 more than the long-term average in one week suggests the crisis in the care sector is even deeper than previously feared.

    The ONS said the number of deaths in care homes had been rising as a proportion of total deaths, adding that the peak of the epidemic in care homes appeared to be later than that in hospitals. “We are starting to see more deaths occurring in private homes and care homes,” it said.
    Chart showing weekly deaths in England and Wales have reached an all-time high

    In the latest week of registrations, 33 per cent of all deaths occurred in care homes, compared with the average for the past five years of 22 per cent, the ONS said.

    Matt Hancock, health secretary, said on Tuesday that from Wednesday the government would update daily death figures to include those in care homes and the community.

    The new daily figures for deaths in all settings will, however, only count those who had been tested positive for coronavirus before they died, a condition that will not include many people who died in their own homes or in care homes.

    The ONS figures show that many deaths in care homes are not recorded as linked to Covid-19 on death certificates, suggesting that residents died of other causes or that doctors were reluctant to name coronavirus on death certificates for the very frail.

    Nick Stripe, head of life events at the ONS, said it was too early to know exactly what was happening, although it was likely to be a combination of sick people not being transferred to hospitals and people dying of Covid-19 but not showing the normal symptoms.

    Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “It is truly shocking to see how many of the most elderly and vulnerable in our communities have died from this dreadful disease”.

    “We are also yet to see the peak of the stress on the social care system, due to the delay between hospital admissions and discharge, which will require the need to start shifting capacity across from hospitals and into the community to meet a surge in demand,” he added.

    Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents private care home providers, said the statistics showed that “care homes are on the frontline and need to be at the centre of the government’s action”.

    In Scotland, the government is requiring people returning to care homes from hospital to be tested twice to reduce the chance of false negatives. “If the scientific evidence tells us they need to do that in Scotland, we need to know why the guidance is different in England,” Mr Green said.

    Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford university, criticised any decision to move infectious people into care homes. “Clinically, it just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to put a person with an active infection into a home setting where other people are in significant numbers and are vulnerable.”

    Care providers also said the sharp increase in deaths in care homes highlighted the need for real-time daily data and for that to be included in the overall daily figure quoted by the government. This would enable the government to understand the severity and trajectory of the pandemic and to provide ways to defeat it, they said.

    Both in care homes and the community, the rise in death registrations outstrips the rise in death certificates that mention coronavirus. This suggests that doctors are misrecording deaths caused by the disease and that people are dying from other conditions indirectly linked to the outbreak.

    NHS England said on Monday that 15,293 people had died in English hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus by April 17. Using unpublished estimates, the ONS said the number of people in England who had died with coronavirus on death certificates was running at 21,284 up to April 17, almost 40 per cent higher.
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    I don't dispute anything in the article you posted but your title is so wrong I have to correct it.

    Death rate in the context of Covid-19 is the case fatality rate. The "Real" UK death rate is significantly lower than the Official death rate due to limitations of testing. Reported cases do not include asymptomatic cases who haven't been tested which are hard to quantity at this moment and more importantly they don't even include symptomatic "likely" cases that have been reported to government but not admitted to hospital which there is available data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasguru View Post
    Ok political issues aside, from a scientific basis why is the UK rate so high?
    How do we know it's high? What's to say other countries reported numbers are different from actual numbers, it will be impossible discover the full impact of the pandemic while it's still on going.

    We won't know for years the real relative numbers
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayn200 View Post
    I don't dispute anything in the article you posted but your title is so wrong I have to correct it.

    Death rate in the context of Covid-19 is the case fatality rate. The "Real" UK death rate is significantly lower than the Official death rate due to limitations of testing. Reported cases do not include asymptomatic cases who haven't been tested which are hard to quantity at this moment and more importantly they don't even include symptomatic "likely" cases that have been reported to government but not admitted to hospital which there is available data.
    I agree we will not know the IFR for some time, but even so the CFR in the UK is very high, even allowing for the lack of testing.
    It's a possibility that many more people are infected in the Uk than we think (in which case the IFR would be low), but data coming out of China right now suggests that wasn't the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMac View Post
    How do we know it's high? What's to say other countries reported numbers are different from actual numbers, it will be impossible discover the full impact of the pandemic while it's still on going.

    We won't know for years the real relative numbers
    See my answer above. The death rates (IFR or CFR) are going to vary from country to country because of different variables but for example the rates from Germany and UK are so drastically different that I believe in the end they'll only be explained by something fundamental.
    The Spanish flu also saw widely varying death rates within countries as well as between countries.
    And the reasons why are sometimes quite interesting and not explained by data collection.
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    Here's a link to the FT figures tracking the pandemic. (No subscription required.) From today, in addition to reporting hospital deaths, they are measuring the excess deaths in a whole variety of countries, although data isn't always comparable. (They only have data for parts of Italy, for example.) Haven't really compared figures, would be surprised if the UK has more unofficial deaths than other counties.

    (By excess deaths I mean simply how many more people than expected are dying, which will probably give you the best figure you can get for coronavirus impact, as it means testing has no effect on the figures, and other impacts are also measured. e.g. extra people dying because cancer not treated, fewer traffic deaths due to lockdown, etc.)

    Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic | Free to read | Financial Times

    You can see official UK data for this in the following reports which are updated every Thursday. You can get to underlying ONS data in a spreadsheet by clicking on a link in reports.

    Weekly all-cause mortality surveillance: 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK

    I see the latest report is the first one in which excess deaths are falling again.

    Link to FT free coronavirus coverage

    Coronavirus: free to read | Financial Times
    Last edited by IR35 Avoider; 30th April 2020 at 13:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasguru View Post
    FT Article quoted below to get the gist:
    Do you have any more reputable source?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsergiovolador View Post
    Do you have any more reputable source?
    I don't have any academic sources as not surprisingly its early days.
    But I was looking at the EUROMOMO data which largely mirrors John Hopkins University although they slice and dice it in different ways.
    And there is something quite different about UK (edit: England not Uk) data if you look closely.

    Graphs and maps — EUROMOMO
    Coronavirus: England's 'excess deaths' among the highest in Europe | UK News | Sky News

    "England recorded the highest number of excess deaths anywhere in Europe for three consecutive weeks (week 14, 15 and 16).
    Since week 13, the excess deaths in England has been well over 15 points above the normal average - which is the level at which EuroMOMO says there has been an extreme high excess of mortality.
    England has recorded more than 40 points above the average for the last two weeks.
    Although Spain, Italy and Belgium have also recorded considerably high excess of mortality, none of them have scored more than 40 points."

    I see no reason to doubt this data, but clearly it must be treated with caution.
    Not trying to make any political point here, just very curious.

    *Seems to be just England not Wales NI or Scotland.
    Last edited by sasguru; 30th April 2020 at 13:36.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasguru View Post

    From a scientific point of view it's quite curious.
    From a scientific point of view, YOU are quite curious.

    Doesn't make you any less dull and tedious though.

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