Excess deaths continue to skyrocket in first half of 2022

Excess deaths continue to skyrocket in first half of 2022 | Insurance Business Australia

Excess deaths continue to skyrocket in first half of 2022

Excess deaths for the six months to June 2022 totalled over 11,200, 13% more than predicted, according to the Actuaries Institute’s latest data.

The Actuaries Institute’s COVID-19 Mortality Working Group applied their model to data released on September 30 and found that half of the excess deaths were due to COVID-19, with a further 1,300 deaths linked to the disease.

Meanwhile, the non-COVID-19 excess deaths for the six months to June 2022 include:

  • Ischaemic heart disease (900 more deaths than expected);
  • Cerebrovascular disease (320 more);
  • Diabetes (300 more);
  • Dementia (760 more);
  • Doctor-certified deaths due to causes not specified by the ABS (2,430 more); and
  • Coroner-referred deaths (610 more).

After removing all deaths with COVID-19 from the excess death estimates, the Actuaries Institute found significant numbers of excess deaths remain for ischaemic heart disease, dementia, and other diseases. However, excess mortality for diabetes was reduced to extremely low levels.

Read more: Actuaries Institute names Actuary of the Year 2022

“Multiple factors are likely to be in play, and different factors may be more or less pronounced at various times,” said Karen Cutter, spokesperson for the Actuaries Institute’s Working Group. “It isn’t possible to identify from the data whether any or all these issues are causing the non-COVID-19 excess deaths. We would like to see further investigation into the possible causes to try to answer this question.”

The Actuaries Institute COVID-19 Mortality Working Group’s detailed modelling covers:

  • Excess deaths from all causes, based on the latest release of comprehensive mortality data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS); and
  • The updated figures from the state and territory health department daily surveillance reports.

During the first nine months of 2022, the state and territory health departments found around 12,900 COVID-19 deaths. Meanwhile, the number of deaths in September 2022 was considerably lower than in July and August.