Covid-19 death rate almost twice as high in deprived areas of Wales

Picture a merger of @LloydCymru’s coronavirus updates and an image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay.

The latest analysis of COVID-19 deaths released by the Office of National Statistics has revealed that the most deprived areas of Wales recorded a mortality rate involving the virus which was almost twice that of the least deprived areas.

The study, which looked at recorded deaths up to 18th April, shows the poorest areas in Wales had a mortality rate of 44.6 deaths per 100,000 of the population in comparison to 23.2 deaths per 100,000 population in the least deprived.

Overall, the mortality rate in Wales is 28.4 per 100,000 people.

The ONS made the calculation based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) an overall measure based on factors such as income, employment, health, education, crime, the living environment and access to housing within an area.

Age-standardised mortality rates are used to allow comparisons between populations that may contain different proportions of people of different ages.

Nick Stripe, Head of Health Analysis, Office for National Statistics observed: “General mortality rates are normally higher in more deprived areas, but so far COVID-19 appears to be taking them higher still.”

Overall London has suffered the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19, with the virus involved in more than 4 in 10 deaths since the start of March.

The 11 local authorities with the highest mortality rates were all London boroughs, with Newham, Brent and Hackney suffering the highest rates of COVID-19 related deaths.

 

Age

When adjusting for size and age structure of the population, there were 36.2 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 people in England and Wales in the time period, 36.6 deaths per 100,000 people in England and 28.4 deaths per 100,000 people in Wales.

A breakdown of the statistics by health board confirmed the three highest age-standardised mortality rates were all statistically significantly higher than the overall Wales rate (28.4 deaths per 100,000 population).

They were Cardiff and Vale University Health Board with 46.2 deaths per 100,000 population; Aneurin Bevan University Health Board with 44.6 deaths per 100,000 population; and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board with 43.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

The lowest age-standardised mortality rate ratings were distorted by the reporting issues that were revealed in the last week involving Hywel Dda University Health Board and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

A total of 31 deaths have subsequently been added to the Hywel Dda figures and 84 to those of Betsi Cadwaladr board.

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