22 May Italian Data Reports Marked Increase in All-Cause Mortality During COVID-19 Epidemic
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Research Associate, CONVERGE
Institute of Public Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The Lombardy region of northern Italy was severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic. However, despite the very high number of confirmed covid-19 deaths in this region, some local investigations suggested that there was a mismatch between the confirmed covid-19 death count and the increase in all-cause deaths.
In our study, we decided to further investigate this aspect in the city of Nembro (province of Bergamo), which was one of the first cities to report covid-19 cases, and one of the cities most affected by the pandemic.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that the increase in all-cause mortality in the month of March 2020 was substantial. The number of residents who died only during this month, in Nembro, is higher than the number of deaths in the city in 2019, and in every year between 2012 and 2019. However, only roughly half of the all-cause deaths in the period since the pandemic outbreak, were recorded as confirmed covid-19 deaths.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The covid-19 pandemic had a huge negative impact on the health of the population of Nembro, both directly and indirectly. The consequences of the covid-19 pandemic on the health of a population are not fully captured by the number of officially reported covid-19 deaths.
Taking the all-cause mortality into account when evaluating the impact of a pandemic will allow to have a more complete picture of the consequences. Looking more closely at the regional level will also help to unveil the full impact.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: I would suggest making the data on all cause mortality quickly available on the regional level to allow for a complete picture of the consequences of a pandemic and properly advice decision makers.
Use of all cause mortality to quantify the consequences of covid-19 in Nembro, Lombardy: descriptive study
BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1835 (Published 14 May 2020)Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1835
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