Skip to main content

Excess Deaths

By February 23, 2024Commentary

The topic that will never die, partly because it is the trigger for a lot of the nonsense from vax safety nuts and partly because for other people like me, it is the trigger for understanding if some of all of those deaths might be due to lockdowns and other epidemic suppression tactics.  It is complicated and one good thing to come out of the epidemic is a more sophisticated approach to tracking deaths.  This article from the agency in Britain that tracks deaths is a good primer on various approaches and a change that England recently adopted, which lowered the number of apparent excess deaths in 2023.  Before the change deaths were being calculated in regard to a simple five prior year average.  This obviously can ignore various factors, like changes in the age and size of the population and pre-existing trends in regard to mortality in certain categories.  If you look back two or three decades, statins and various medical devices like implantable defibrillators had a substantial impact on heart deaths.  At the same time, as life expectancy increases and the population ages, more people are going to inevitably have heart attacks and strokes.  Other potential pitfalls, especially if you are calculating rates versus absolute numbers, is getting the size of the population and age and sex subgroups correctly, and of course, there are many issues about attribution of death to a cause or causes.

In any event the new method attempts to capture trends better.  It isn’t perfect and there is already carping and conspiracy theories about the changes, but it is definitely an improvement.  There is a lot of noise from the conspiracy types about more younger and middle-aged deaths, with the implication being that the vaccines are responsible.  To the extent there are more deaths in these age groups, one has only to look at drug and alcohol overdoses and the ongoing rise in obesity to understand why.  But the new method shows no excess deaths in the young and middle-aged adult groups in 2023, which actually is consistent with the notion that there were some deaths from CV-19 in these groups, but largely in people who were in poor health to start with, so now we see the phenomenon of pull-forward deaths, with a fall for some time subsequently.  The explanation of the new method is here.  (ONS Article)   The actual new statistics for deaths are here.  (ONS Stats)


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Larry says:

    John Michael’s YT (3M subscribers) post today has a different “take” on the Brit’s statistical manipulation of “excess deaths.”
    I suggest KR and readers take 10 min to view this post before concluding that this type of UK statistical trickery of weekly death counts really contributes to understanding the impact of government mandates (lockdowns), unhealthy behaviors during Covid (drug & alcohol), changes in health care access, or vaccines…..on the increase in non-CV deaths after 2020, and especially since 2021 when CV vaccines were introduced.
    Doesn’t the statistical manipulation of CV deaths in this new reporting remind you of “manufactured” data related to climate change, economic conditions, etc. coming from government-sponsored agencies with a narrative to “protect”?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      Yeah, there are lots of nuts who make up all kind of crap to get a big audience. No serious statistician thinks using a five-year average is the right way to try to set the baseline for excess death calculations, and that is what England was doing before. Calling it manipulation to change to something based on trends and age and sex groups and cause of death, etc, is just bullshit. It is absolutely a huge move in the right direction. Nothing will be perfect because we simply don’t know what would have happened, and to some extent the whole idea of “excess” deaths is unnecessary, what we really want is just to see absolute numbers and rates at as granular a level as possible. And then try to understand why in those finer buckets the number or rate of death changed. So believe whatever garbage you want but don’t expect me to.

Leave a comment