Mortality rates across the UK reached their highest level since 2010, according to an analysis of data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI), which publishes regular updates on death rates, reveals that mortality in the third quarter of 2022 was 9% higher than in the same quarter of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and higher than in any third quarter since 2010. This contrasts with the first half of 2022, which had similar mortality rates to 2019.
The third quarter of 2022 saw 12,700 more deaths than expected from all causes in the UK, with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate for 7,300 deaths during that period. Around 137,800 more deaths than expected from all causes were recorded in the UK between the start of the pandemic and the end of September 2022.
“Deaths with COVID on the death certificate only account for around 60% of the excess deaths seen during the quarter, so there were more deaths than expected from non-COVID causes,” said CMI mortality projections committee chair Cobus Daneel. “This contrasts with most of the pandemic period, when non-COVID deaths were lower than expected.
“Data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities suggests that increased deaths from heart and circulatory diseases have contributed to the excess seen in the third quarter. While heatwaves led to short-term increases in deaths, analysis by the ONS shows that their impact was not the primary cause of excess mortality over the quarter as a whole.”