Revista Científica da Ordem dos Médicos
Excess mortality is occurring since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe and around the world, and it entails both COVID and non-COVID excess mortality.
Between March 2020 and June 2022, the European Union (EU) recorded four distinct waves of excess mortality, with peaks in April 2020 (25.2 %), November 2020 (40 %, the highest), April 2021 (20.9 %) and November 2021 (26.5 %).
However, excess mortality is occurring more frequently in many countries since 2020. Moreover, there are more frequent periods of deviation from the baseline expected mortality even if that excess is still within a defined confidence interval. Different methods can lead to different point estimates of expected mortality for a day or period that can then be compared with the observed mortality to calculate the excess. However, most of the literature points towards a relevant excess mortality in many countries, both due to COVID-19 and other causes, and discusses the importance of using death registries data to understand excess deaths by specific diseases, its causes and collateral implications.