Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health

Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages 209 - 213

Rapid Estimation of Excess Mortality during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Portugal -Beyond Reported Deaths

Authors
André Vieira1, *, ORCID, Vasco Ricoca Peixoto1, 2, ORCID, Pedro Aguiar1, ORCID, Alexandre Abrantes1, ORCID
1Public Health Research Centre, NOVA National School of Public Health, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal
2Public Health Unit, North Lisbon Health Centers, Lisbon, Portugal
*Corresponding author. Email: aam.vieira@ensp.unl.pt
Corresponding Author
André Vieira
Received 14 May 2020, Accepted 20 June 2020, Available Online 7 July 2020.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.200628.001How to use a DOI?
Keywords
Coronavirus; disease outbreaks; mortality; pandemics; Portugal
Abstract

Background: One month after the first COVID-19 infection was recorded, Portugal counted 18,051 cases and 599 deaths from COVID-19. To understand the overall impact on mortality of the pandemic of COVID-19, we estimated the excess mortality registered in Portugal during the first month of the epidemic, from March 16 until April 14 using two different methods.

Methods: We compared the observed and expected daily deaths (historical average number from daily death registrations in the past 10 years) and used 2 standard deviations confidence limit for all-cause mortality by age and specific mortality cause, considering the last 6 years. An adapted Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model was also tested to validate the estimated number of all-cause deaths during the study period.

Results: Between March 16 and April 14, there was an excess of 1255 all-cause deaths, 14% more than expected. The number of daily deaths often surpassed the 2 standard deviations confidence limit. The excess mortality occurred mostly in people aged 75+. Forty-nine percent (49%) of the estimated excess deaths were registered as due to COVID-19, the other 51% registered as other natural causes.

Conclusion: Even though Portugal took early containment measures against COVID-19, and the population complied massively with those measures, there was significant excess mortality during the first month of the pandemic, mostly among people aged 75+. Only half of the excess mortality was registered as directly due do COVID-19.

KEY POINTS
  • An Excess Mortality (EM) of 1255 deaths were estimated 1 month after the first death classified by COVID-19, and it would probably be more if the government had not taken early action.

  • The age group where a significant increase in mortality was noted was above 75 years.

  • 51% of the EM was due to natural causes other than COVID-19.

Copyright
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Download article (PDF)
View full text (HTML)

Journal
Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health
Volume-Issue
10 - 3
Pages
209 - 213
Publication Date
2020/07/07
ISSN (Online)
2210-6014
ISSN (Print)
2210-6006
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.200628.001How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Cite this article

TY  - JOUR
AU  - André Vieira
AU  - Vasco Ricoca Peixoto
AU  - Pedro Aguiar
AU  - Alexandre Abrantes
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/07/07
TI  - Rapid Estimation of Excess Mortality during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Portugal -Beyond Reported Deaths
JO  - Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health
SP  - 209
EP  - 213
VL  - 10
IS  - 3
SN  - 2210-6014
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.200628.001
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.200628.001
ID  - Vieira2020
ER  -