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Different patterns of excess all-cause mortality by age and sex in Hungary during the 2nd and 3rd waves of the COVID-19 pandemic

Fazekas-Pongor, Vince; Szarvas, Zsófia; Nagy, Norbert D; Péterfi, Anna; Ungvári, Zoltán; Horváth, Viktor J; Mészáros, Szilvia; (2022) Different patterns of excess all-cause mortality by age and sex in Hungary during the 2nd and 3rd waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Geroscience , 44 pp. 2361-2369. 10.1007/s11357-022-00622-3. Green open access

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Abstract

It is well accepted that COVID-19-related mortality shows a strong age dependency. However, temporal changes in the age distribution of excess relative mortality between waves of the pandemic are less frequently investigated. We aimed to assess excess absolute mortality and the age-distribution of all-cause mortality during the second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hungary compared to the same periods of non-pandemic years. Rate ratios for excess all-cause mortality with 95% confidence intervals and the number of excess deaths for the second (week 41 of 2020 through week 4 of 2021) and third waves (weeks 7-21 of 2021) of the COVID pandemic for the whole of Hungary compared to the same periods of the pre-pandemic years were estimated for 10-year age strata using Poisson regression. Altogether, 9771 (95% CI: 9554-9988) excess deaths were recorded during the second wave of the pandemic, while it was lower, 8143 (95% CI: 7953-8333) during the third wave. During the second wave, relative mortality peaked for ages 65-74 and 75-84 (RR 1.37, 95%CI 1.33-1.41, RR 1.38, 95%CI 1.34-1.42). Conversely, during the third wave, relative mortality peaked for ages 35-44 (RR 1.43, 95%CI 1.33-1.55), while those ≥65 had substantially lower relative risks compared to the second wave. The reduced relative mortality among the elderly during the third wave is likely a consequence of the rapidly increasing vaccination coverage of the elderly coinciding with the third wave. The hugely increased relative mortality of those 35-44 could point to non-biological causes, such as less stringent adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures in this population.

Type: Article
Title: Different patterns of excess all-cause mortality by age and sex in Hungary during the 2nd and 3rd waves of the COVID-19 pandemic
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11357-022-00622-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-022-00622-3
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Coronavirus disease 2019, Mortality, Pandemics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154136
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