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Excess Mortality Persisted in Western World From 2020 Through 2022

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Excess deaths continued in 2022 when most COVID-19 containment measures were lifted and COVID-19 vaccines were continued

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Excess mortality persisted in 2020 through 2022 in the Western world, according to a study published online June 3 in BMJ Public Health.

Saskia Mostert, M.D., from Amsterdam UMC, and colleagues explored excess mortality in the Western world from 2020 to 2022 using all-cause mortality reports abstracted from the “Our World in Data” database. Historical death data were used from 2015 to 2019, accounting for seasonal variation and year-to-year trends.

The researchers found that for 47 countries of the Western world, the total number of excess deaths was 3,098,456 from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022. Excess mortality was documented in 41, 42, and 43 countries in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (87, 89, and 91 percent, respectively). Records showed 1,033,122 excess deaths in 2020, the year of COVID-19 pandemic onset and implementation of containment measures. The highest number of deaths was reported in 2021 (1,256,942 excess deaths), the year in which both containment measures and COVID-19 vaccines were used to address virus spread and infection. When most COVID-19 containment measures were lifted and COVID-19 vaccines were continued in 2022, preliminary data showed 808,392 excess deaths.

“Excess mortality has remained high in the Western World for three consecutive years, despite the implementation of COVID-19 containment measures and COVID-19 vaccines,” the authors write. “This is unprecedented and raises serious concerns.”

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