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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in February 2022
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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in February 2022

Last update: 29.03.2022
Ilustračný obrázok
Publisher: Headquarters Bratislava
Topic: Demographic and social statistics
Domain: Population and migration
Publish Date: 29.03.2022

Mortality in the Slovak Republic in February was already normal, though still high number of people succumbed to the COVID-19 infection

In February, in the ranking of the most common causes of deaths, COVID-19 moved to a third place from January´s fourth place, causing the death of 539 people. However, other causes of death decreased significantly compared to the pre-pandemic values and therefore the total excess mortality in February 2022 was no longer an issue in Slovakia.

In Slovakia, almost 4.9 thousand people died in February 2022, which is the least in the last five months. The total number of deaths exceeded the average of February values by only 1.1% in the five years before the onset of the pandemic1). This follows from preliminary data on the number of deaths and causes of death in February 2022, which were currently published by the Statistical Office of the SR and revised the data for the previous month of this year.

Despite the higher number of those infected since the beginning of this year, the number of deaths and the overall death rate in the SR have dropped. The situation thus approached the pre-pandemic situation for the second consecutive month. "In January and February 2022, more than 3 000 fewer people died than in the same months of 2021, when the worst situation peaked since the outbreak of the pandemic. Last year, the mortality rate was approximately at the level of 70%, while in January of this year it dropped to 7% and currently in February it has almost reached the pre-pandemic level," stated Zuzana Podmanická, Director of the Department of Population Statistics of the Statistical Office of the SR.

COVID-19 is rising again in the ranking of the most common causes of death

Despite the fact that mortality has no longer been a subject of the pandemic in the SR since the beginning of this year, higher numbers of people still died as a result of the COVID-19 infection - in February it was 539 people. Although the omicron variant was mostly milder, COVID-19 was still the cause of death in up to 11% of deaths. It thus moved from the fourth of January to the third most common cause of death2) in the SR. Thus, in February 2022, one out of nine people died of a new infection.

At the regional level, coronavirus had the largest share of causes of death in Trenčiansky kraj (18%) and Trnavský kraj (17%). It was the lowest in Nitriansky kraj (6%) and Bratislavský kraj (9%).

The most common causes of death in the second month of this year were diseases of the circulatory system, representing 45% of deaths (2 000 thousand people) and tumors 19% (900 people). These two groups of diseases have long been among the most common causes of death in the SR. However, for both of these causes, significantly fewer people died in both months of this year than in the years before the pandemic, so the total number of deaths does not fluctuate as significantly as last year.

Respiratory diseases (11% of deaths) and digestive system diseases (5%) also appeared in the top five most common causes in February.

Differences in the total excess mortality between regions again increased

While at the level of the SR the number of deaths was approximately at the level of the years before the pandemic, the situation in the regions differed in February 2022. The excess mortality was still recorded in six of the eight Slovak regions, reaching 1 to 8 % in individual regions. The highest one was in Trenčiansky kraj, Trnavský kraj and Žilinský kraj. In two regions – Bratislavský kraj and Nitriansky kraj, the number of deaths was less than 5-year pre-pandemic average.

Month-on-month, compared to the values in January, the situation thus improved the most in Bratislavský kraj and Trnavský kraj. Bratislavský kraj recorded the excess mortality of 14% in January and in February it even died less persons by almost 15%. Similarly, Trnavský kraj recorded a decrease in the excess mortality from the level of 17 % in January to the current value of 5 % in February.

On the contrary, the situation worsened slightly in Prešovský kraj (excess mortality - 4.8% in February; 1.6% in January) and in Banskobystrický kraj (excess mortality - 1.4% in February; 1.1% in January).

The younger seniors are still in the worst situation

Seniors over 65 (3.9 thousand people) represented the absolute majority of deaths. The excess mortality still continued in this age group, the number of deaths was 7% higher than the five-year pre-pandemic average. A subgroup of younger seniors (aged 65 to 74) affects most the death statistics since the beginning of the pandemic, the excess mortality represented more than 15% in February.

"There is also a positive trend in age structures. The excess mortality of younger seniors fell by 13 percentage points month-on-month and by 94 points compared to February last year," emphasized Z. Podmanická. In the subgroup of older seniors over the age of 75, the number of deaths exceeded the five-year average by less than 4%.

Data on mortality and causes of death can be found at www.statistics.sk in the DATAcube. database of the Statistical Office of the SR.:

  • Preliminary monthly data - Deaths by month of death, age, sex and cause death - SR-oblast-kraj"(monthly)[om3801mr].
    Numbers of deaths and causes of death in the SR according to 22 groups of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) by months (including COVID-19). The data cube contains regional structures (regions, SR), age structures (pre-productive, productive and post-productive age, as well as age groups after 5 years). Monthly data for 2022 are preliminary.
  • Preliminary weekly data - Deaths by age groups and sex - SR-oblast-kraj (weekly) [om3003tr].
    The table contains structures by 5-year age groups as well as regional structures / regions. The data are reported to Eurostat. EUROSTAT releases the most recent mortality data in Europe on a weekly basis in the table: Deaths by week.
    Weekly data for 2022 are preliminary. Weekly data are not identical with the monthly data (some weeks fall within two months).
  • Definitive data for 2021 will be released in the 31 March 2022 on www.statistics.sk in the DATAcube. database.

Data on the number of deaths

The Statistical Office of the SR is responsible for processing data on mortality as a demographic phenomenon within the natural reproduction of the population of the SR at the national and international level.

The causes of death are also part of mortality statistics. Statistical data on the causes of death are analyzed by specialists of the Statistical Office of the SR together with experts of the Health Care Surveillance Authority in the context of diagnoses of diseases that affected the deceased. Due to a specific approach to the processing of data on deaths from COVID-19 and in order to know the real effects of this disease on society, special attention is paid to all deaths that symptoms and consequences are similar to COVID-19. After a thorough analysis, preliminary data on the causes of death are revised in cooperation with medical experts.

The difference between preliminary and definitive data exists in all statistical areas, revision of the data is the standard procedure. This is the case with the most statistical outputs, including statistics on deaths and their causes across the EU.

The data on the number of deaths, which are currently released daily by the National Health Information Centre (NHIC) and the Ministry of Health of the SR on korona.gov.sk, are the first preliminary data, as they are gradually reported from all regions. Later, deaths are processed exactly according to the date of death to the relevant day, month and also according to the causes of deaths, while the causes of deaths are analyzed and revised, if necessary. Deaths from COVID-19, which are presented by the SO SR, represent cases in which COVID-19 was the main cause of death, i.e. they relates to deaths "from COVID", not deaths "with COVID".

Statistical data on deaths are processed by the SO SR from the received forms "Death certificate and statistical report of death", which contains basic data on deaths, including diagnosis according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD - 10) listed as the main cause of death. After the end of each month, the SO SR provides the forms to about one thousand registration offices in the SR, which collect data on deaths from almost 3,000 towns and municipalities in the SR. The form "Death certificate and statistical report of death" is completed by the supervising doctor. The SO SR is the data processor, it does not affect the data stated in the form.

Regional structures recorded the deceased by place of permanent residence (not the place where he / she died).

The final results on the number of people died of a specific disease (the main cause of death) are released by the Statistical Office of the SR after the end of the reference year in March of the following year.

  • 1) For an objective answer to the question to what extent the current mortality was worse than in the pre-pandemic period, the SO SR adjusted the selection of years for comparison with the pre-pandemic average. The values for 2015 – 2019, which were the last years not affected by the pandemic, were included into the average. The year 2020 was already affected by the pandemic, especially in the last months of the year, and the year 2021 in the first and last months of the year.
  • 2) Causes of death are classified according to 22 disease groups of the International Classification of Diseases (ICC)
  • Issued by :

  • Statistical Office of the SR
  • Lamačská cesta 3/C
  • 840 05 Bratislava 45
  • Slovak Republic
  • Information Services :

  • tel. +421 2 50 236 339
  • +421 2 50 236 335
  • e-mail: info@statistics.sk

While publishing of the whole information report or its parts, please state the source of information, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic


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