30 Sept 2022

Sperrin electoral area had highest number of excess pandemic deaths

NISRA data has broken down the excess death statistics by area.

Sperrin electoral area had highest number of excess pandemic deaths

The Sperrin ward was the hardest hit area of County Derry during the pandemic, according to NISRA data.

County Derry's Sperrin ward recorded the highest number of excess deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic of all the county's electoral areas.

Data published last week by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) laid out a detailed breakdown of Covid-related deaths and excess deaths from March 2020 to December 2021.

'Excess deaths' is a mathematical concept based on the difference between actual deaths from all causes in a period minus the expected number of deaths based on average deaths for the same period over the previous five years.

Excess mortality can be used to measure of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as it does not rely on the availability or interpretation of the (primary and secondary) causes of death.

It captures deaths from all causes, which may be related to a range of factors associated with the pandemic, for example, changes in the availability or uptake of health care services including screening and diagnosing, or the impact of ‘lock-down’ on people’s mental health.

In Sperrin, 38 Covid-related deaths were recorded throughout the time period, while there were 101.8 excess deaths recorded.

The figure reflected 30.1% of the area's average death toll calculated over five years.

Causeway, which includes Portstewart and Portrush, was the second highest with 87.4 excess deaths, while Limavady was in third place with 71.4.

The Waterside area of Derry City had the lowest number of excess deaths at 10.8, well below the county's overall average of 43.8.

Within Mid Ulster's electoral wards, the highest number of excess deaths came in Moyola (50.6).

Data was also broken down by local government district and constituency.

Causeway Coast and Glens had the highest number of excess deaths (324.4) of County Derry's three districts, with Mid Ulster recording 241.8 and Derry City and Strabane recording 291.

The north coast district ranked fourth highest in Northern Ireland for excess deaths, and was the only district in Derry to lie above the overall average of 297.2.

Those excess deaths represented 14.1% of the district's average over five years.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon had the highest figure in NI (434.6), while Fermanagh and Omagh had the lowest (214.8).

The constituency of East Derry had the county's highest number of excess deaths at 211.8, which represented 13.6% of the area's average over five years.

Mid Ulster had 202.8, while Foyle was lowest with 151.6, the only of Derry's constituencies to be below the constituencies' average of 181.6.

Overall, the research found that excess deaths were higher in rural areas of Northern Ireland (15.3%) than in urban areas (9.4% above historical levels).

Across Northern Ireland, from March 2020 to December 2021, there were 3,629 excess deaths, a figure that was 11.3% higher than expected levels.

During that same period, statistics show there were 4,039 Covid-related deaths. Almost three quarters (72.7%) of excess deaths and Covid-related deaths (73.5%) were among those aged 75 and over.

The number of deaths in hospitals was higher (+4.5%) than expected levels, as a net effect of 2,871 Covid-19 related deaths occurring in hospitals but 2,207 fewer non Covid-19 deaths in hospital.

In contrast, there were more non Covid-19 deaths occurring at home.

Combined with the 319 Covid-19 related deaths at home, this resulted in the majority of excess deaths (2,620 or 80.4%) occurring at home, an increase of 32.4% above historic levels.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.