Health

Heart deaths at home rocketed by QUARTER during Covid pandemic, stats show

HEART deaths at home rocketed by more than a quarter since the start of the pandemic, official figures show.

A new report suggests thousands of worried Brits stayed away from the NHS and missed out on potentially life-saving treatment.

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The numbers of male deaths in private homes in England were higher than the five-year average for all leading causes of death
The numbers of female deaths in private homes in England were higher than the five-year average for all leading causes of death

Fatalities from major cancers recorded at home went up by half in the past six months, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Prostate cancer deaths spiked by 53 per cent – the biggest percentage change from the five-year average – while 46 per cent more men were killed by bowel cancer.

For women, breast cancer fatalities were up 47 per cent between March 14 and September 11.

Three-quarters more also died of Alzheimer’s at home, suggesting many struggled to access NHS care.

There were 2,095 excess deaths from these conditions registered between March 14 and September 11, the ONS said.

In Wales, there was a 94 per cent rise, with 133 excess deaths involving dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The number of deaths in private homes in England was above the five-year average from Week 2 to Week 37 of 2020, according to the ONS
Almost 60 per cent of excess deaths in private homes in England were of people aged 70 to 89 years
The number of excess deaths in private homes in England continues to be larger than excess deaths in hospitals and care homes

Deaths from cerebral palsy, heart rhythm problems, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease also increased more than 70 per cent in England.

Disorders of fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance, including dehydration, rose 95 per cent, accounting for 96 excess deaths.

ONS data shows there were 25,472 excess deaths in private residences in England and Wales over the first six months of the pandemic – a rise of a third compared to previous years.

In both countries, deaths in care homes were above the average, while deaths in hospitals and hospices fell below it, suggesting that the “distribution of deaths between the different places of occurrence has shifted”.

Non-Covid related

Nine in ten were not from Covid, indicating thousands of sick Brits were put off seeking medical help that could have save their lives.

In contrast, the overall numbers of deaths in hospital were down by more than a quarter.

Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, said: “Non-Covid deaths in hospital have correspondingly declined, suggesting most of these deaths would normally have occurred in hospital, and people have either been reluctant to go, discouraged from attending, or the services have been disrupted.”

 

He added that it is “unclear how many of these lives could have been extended had they gone to hospital”.

The figures show that the leading cause of death in private homes during the Covid-19 pandemic was heart disease.

In England, males accounted for 53.8 per cent of the excess deaths in private homes, with men and women aged between 70 and 89 accounting for the majority.

Biggest killer

The leading cause of death for men was heart disease, accounting for 19 per cent of all male deaths in private homes.

Deaths of men at home from heart disease rose 26 per cent in England compared with the five-year-average (1,705 additional deaths), with fewer dying in hospital.

Coronavirus was the seventh leading cause of death for men and 11th leading cause of death for women in England.

While deaths of heart disease are below average in hospital, it has been above average at home

Sarah Caulhead of mortality at ONS

And in Wales, it was the 10th leading cause of death for men and 15th leading cause of death for women in private homes.

Sarah Caul, Head of Mortality at ONS said: “While deaths in hospitals and care homes have dropped below the five-year average since the initial peak of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve consistently seen deaths in private homes remain well above the five-year average.

“We have seen an overall increase of deaths as well as a redistribution of various causes of death.

“For instance, while deaths of heart disease are below average in hospital, it has been above average at home.

“It’s a similar picture when looking at prostate cancer for males and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for females.

“Unlike the high numbers of deaths involving Covid-19 in hospitals and care homes, the majority of deaths in private homes are unrelated to Covid-19.”

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