United Kingdom

Covid was only the 26th leading cause of death in England in June

Covid was only the 26th leading cause of death in England in June, official data revealed today.

Just 0.9 per cent of fatalities were down to the virus last month — the equivalent of 11 per day, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed.

For comparison, heart disease — the country's leading killer — claimed 139 lives per day, 12 times more than the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the rate of coronavirus deaths was so low in Wales they couldn’t even work out where Covid ranked compared to other diseases.

Despite deaths having plummeted over the past few months because of lockdown and vaccines, the virus is still the leading killer this year. 

But fatalities are starting to speed up now, with infections having soared because of the spread of the Indian Delta variant. Experts say the easing of restrictions will inevitably cause the outbreak to pick up speed.

And despite vaccines drastically slashing the risk of people falling seriously ill, they are not perfect. A proportion of people who get infected will still die, although that fraction is much smaller now than it was before the roll-out began. 

The top 26 leading causes of death in England in June 

Ischaemic heart diseases: 4,183 deaths

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease: 3,962 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung: 2,241 deaths

Cerebrovascular diseases: 2,123 deaths

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 1,757 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus: 1,122 deaths

Influenza and pneumonia: 1,045 deaths

Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions: 993 deaths

Malignant neoplasms, stated or presumed to be primary of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue: 922 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of prostate: 815 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of breast: 758 deaths

Cirrhosis and other diseases of liver: 735 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of pancreas: 726 deaths

Heart failure and complications and ill-defined heart disease: 628 deaths

Cardiac arrhythmias: 622 deaths

Diseases of the urinary system: 566 deaths

Hypertensive diseases: 562 deaths

Diabetes: 545 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of oesophagus: 541 deaths

Parkinson disease: 488 deaths

Pulmonary oedema and other interstitial pulmonary diseases: 469 deaths

Nonrheumatic valve disorders and endocarditis: 467 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of liver and intrahepatic bile ducts: 440 deaths

Malignant neoplasm of bladder: 394 deaths

Aortic aneurysm and dissection: 365 deaths

Covid: 344 deaths

Covid killed slightly more people in England in June compared to one month earlier, accounting for 75 deaths per million compared to 71 per million in May.

The proportion of deaths linked to Covid peaked last April in the first wave, when it accounted for 6,232 deaths per million in England. In the second wave, fatalities peaked at 5,496 per million.

But Covid accounted for just 2 of the 2,560 deaths recorded in June in Wales — such a low number the ONS were unable to accurately rank it against other leading causes.

The 0.1 per cent of deaths linked to the virus in Wales is the lowest proportion the country has seen so far in the pandemic.

Of the 38,611 people who died in England in June, just 344 (0.9 per cent) died from Covid.

The ONS calculates the figures based on the number of deaths where Covid was the underlying cause.

Taking into account all deaths that involved Covid, the virus was linked to 476 fatalities — 1.2 per cent of all deaths in England. The equivalent figure for Wales is 0.2 per cent, with the virus contributing to five deaths.

Despite low death numbers recorded in June, the coronavirus is still the biggest killer so far this year, accounting for 17.3 per cent of all deaths in England and 13.9 per cent of all deaths in Wales.

This means that for every 100,000 deaths in England from January to June, 177 were caused by Covid, while in Wales, 149 were due to the virus. 

But more people died from 25 other conditions than Covid in England last month. 

This is despite most deaths from other causes in June — like heart disease and flu — being much lower than the five-year average.

This means Covid has dropped two spots down the leading killers list, after being ranked 24th in May,

Heart disease remained the biggest killer, causing 4,183 deaths — equating to 10.8 per cent of all deaths in England. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (10.3 per cent), lung cancer (5.8 per cent) and brain disease (5.5 per cent) were the next biggest killers.

These were followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases (4.6 per cent), bowel cancer (2.9 per cent) and flu and pneumonia (2.7 per cent).

Deaths from flu were nearly half as low as usual, with statisticians crediting lockdowns for the drop in the amount of the virus in circulation. 

Up to the end of June, 282,754 deaths were registered in England and 18,152 in Wales.

The number of people who died in total in the country in June is 1,275 less than it was one year ago, but still 0.8 per cent above the five year average.

The ONS said the number of people who died in total in the country last month is ‘significantly lower’ than it was in June 2020, with 1,275 less deaths being recorded.

But they said the number is still ‘significantly higher’ (0.8 per cent) than the average than the five year average. 

In England, the number of people dying from Covid dropped slightly in June compared to one month earlier, accounting for 7.5 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 7.1 per 100,000 in May

Heart disease remained the biggest killer in England, causing 4,183 deaths — equating to 10.8 per cent of all deaths in England. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (3,962), lung cancer (2,241) and brain disease (2,123) were the next biggest killers. These were followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases (1,757), bowel cancer (1,122) and flu and pneumonia (1,045). Deaths from flu were nearly half as low as usual, with statisticians crediting lockdowns for the drop in the amount of the virus in circulation

In England and Wales, the proportion of deaths linked to Covid remained low in June. The virus accounted for just two of the 2,560 deaths recorded in Wales — such a low number the ONS were unable to accurately rank it against other leading causes. In England, 344 people died from Covid last month

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