There has been a significant increase in the number of non-COVID deaths since the Omicron wave took off, and that has doctors worried.
- Non-COVID deaths increased five per cent in the first four months of this year
- Dementia deaths rose by 20 per cent and diabetes deaths are up 18 per cent
- The deaths are statistically significant and doctors are concerned by the possible cause
There were an additional 4,000 non-COVID deaths, or a five per cent increase, in the first four months this year, compared with the pre-pandemic average.
The director of the Mortality Data Centre at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Lauren Moran, said among the additional 4,000 deaths, more people died of chronic diseases compared to similar periods prior to the pandemic.
“We can see that for dementia, there’s been around a 20 per cent increase this year of the total number of deaths when we compare it to prior years, and around 18 per cent higher than expected for diabetes,” she said.
Ms Moran said that while some of the increase could be put down to natural variation and increases with an ageing population, the deaths are statistically significant and confirm a trend that began late last year.
“It is unusual for us to see such a high increase of deaths during the summer period,” she said.
“Normally we would see those big increases during winter.”