Nearly half of COVID-19 deaths among adults 80 years and older, says GlobalData

A comparison analysis of COVID-19 deaths from seven major markets (7MM*) shows disproportionate rates among older age groups says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData epidemiologists compared COVID-19 mortality data by age groups from the 7MM and found that the proportions of deaths vary by older age groups in each market. The mortality analysis found that the proportions of deaths vary by four different age groups: under 60 years, 60–69 years, 70–79 years, and 80 years and older.

Nanthida Nanthavong, Epidemiologist at GlobalData, commented: “In the 7MM, the average proportion of deaths by age group highlights that men and women over the age of 60 years account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths and nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths are among men and women ages 80 years and older.”

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For all markets except China, the highest proportion of deaths are among the 80 years and older age group. In China, the proportion of deaths among men and women over 80 years accounts for only 20% of all COVID-19 deaths.

Nanthavong continued: “The discrepancy between the proportions in China compared with other markets may be attributed to the limited availability of epidemiological data on COVID-19 in China, including data on age and sex of the deceased.”

Changes to China’s case definition in mid-February raised many questions about how deaths from COVID-19 are defined, including whether the COVID-19 death count included clinically confirmed cases, laboratory confirmed cases, or both; or whether the death count included cases that have died with a comorbid cause along with COVID-19 infection. It is also not clear how many may have died due to COVID-19 due to the lack of access to testing.

Nanthavong added: “Due to the limitations in China, the actual numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths are most likely underreported. These concerns are also applicable to other markets, especially in an early phase of the outbreak where reliable data are limited.”

In Singapore, half of all COVID-19 deaths among men and women over 80 years. However, the actual number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Singapore differ drastically when compared with other markets. Singapore has approximately 2,500 cases, eight deaths, and a CFR of 0.3%.

Nanthavong adds: ‘‘The low CFR in Singapore can be attributed to the country’s early response to the outbreak, including a quick government response and strong epidemiologic surveillance system. Singapore’s preparedness and response highlights the importance that having a strong epidemiological surveillance system and an organized response to an infectious disease outbreak can make an impact, greatly reducing the transmission and deaths.’’

* 7MM: The US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, South Korea and Singapore

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