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US excess deaths vs Europe

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Instead of a comparison of excess deaths for the US across time, MedicalXpress summarizes a comparison across five large European countries.  The calculations make covid-19 look like a distraction from a much larger (and totally) ignored problem.

COVID-19 not the sole cause of excess U.S. deaths in 2020

By the year 2017, the United States was already suffering more excess deaths and more life years lost each year than those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

"It is not commonly recognized how far we have fallen behind our European counterparts in mortality and survival,"

To make age-specific comparisons of U.S. and European [Germany, England and Wales together, France, Italy, and Spain] mortality from 2000 to 2017, Preston and Vierboom used data from the Human Mortality Database to create three indexes. [1) ratio of age-specific death rates, 2) calculate number of excess deaths, 3) calculate Years of Life Lost]

Even more striking was the mortality comparison between the U.S. and those five European countries when using the measure known as "years of life lost." This accounts for the age at which death occurs, giving more weight to death at a younger age.


Source article:

Excess mortality in the United States in the 21st century

Age-specific death rates which show a sharp deterioration in the US position since 2000.

Applying European age-specific death rates in 2017 to the US population, we then show that adverse mortality conditions in the United States resulted in 400,700 excess deaths that year.

these excess deaths entailed a loss of 13.0 My of life.

[For comparison]  the mean loss of life years for a person dying from COVID-19 in the United States is 11.7 y. Multiplying 377,000 decedents by 11.7 y lost per decedent gives a total of 4.41 My of life lost to COVID-19 in 2020, only a third of the 13.02 million life years lost to excess mortality in the United States in 2017

… the comparison is so much sharper for YLL than for excess deaths [because] COVID-19 deaths in 2020 occurred at much older ages, on average, than the excess deaths of 2017.


Fig. 1A shows the ratio of US death rates to the mean of death rates in the five European countries (the “European standard”), by age, in 2000, 2010, and 2017. 

Fig. 1B shows the age pattern of excess deaths, deaths that would not have occurred if the United States had the age- and sex-specific death rates of the European standard. 

Fig. 1C presents estimates of years of life lost (YLL) as a result of higher US mortality.

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