lancet-header
Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals and other research experts identify content of interest prior to publication. These preprint papers are not peer-reviewed. Authors have either opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet, or submitted directly via SSRN. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These papers should not be used for clinical decision making or reporting of research to a lay audience without indicating that this is preliminary research that has not been peer-reviewed. For more information see the Comment published in The Lancet, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com

Human Costs of the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Major Epicenters in Italy

36 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020

See all articles by Simone Ghislandi

Simone Ghislandi

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Raya Muttarak

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); University of Vienna - Vienna Institute of Demography

Markus Sauerberg

Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (Univ. Vienna, IIASA, VID/ÖAW), Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Benedetta Scotti

Department of Social and Political Sciences, Bocconi University

More...

Abstract

Background: Relying on national official reports to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on human life faces problems of miscounting due to under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths, inaccurate death registration and inconsistency in classification. The reported mortality is often provided at the national level whilst the outbreaks are localised, resulting in underestimation of the true scale of the impact.

Methods: This study uses all-cause daily death registrations data provided by the Italian Statistical Office (ISTAT) focusing on the five most severely hit provinces in Italy (Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza) and Lombardy region. We calculate excess mortality in 2020 compared to the average of the years 2015-2019 and estimate life expectancy for the first wave of the epidemic and for the rest of the year 2020.

Findings: The estimated excess deaths show significantly higher mortality than official statistics, particularly during the peak of the epidemic and amongst people aged ≥70 years. For the first wave of the epidemic (1 January to 30 April 2020), life expectancy in the five provinces reduced by 6.2 to 8 and 3.6 to 5.8 years for men and women, respectively. For annual life expectancy in 2020, with regular after-COVID mortality patterns, the years of life lost is equivalent to 2.5 to 4.1 years for men and 1.7. to 2.6 years for women, respectively.

Interpretation: The COVID-19 pandemic posed a substantial impact on population health in Italy as it represents the largest decline in life expectancy after the 1918 influenza pandemic and WWII.

Funding Statement: No funding to declare.

Declaration of Interests: All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval Statement: No ethical approval required.

Keywords: COVID-19; death registration; excess mortality; Italy; life expectancy

Suggested Citation

Ghislandi, Simone and Muttarak, Raya and Sauerberg, Markus and Scotti, Benedetta, Human Costs of the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Major Epicenters in Italy (6/17/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3633229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3633229

Simone Ghislandi

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Raya Muttarak (Contact Author)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
Laxenburg, A-2361
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/WorldPopulation/Staff/Raya-Muttarak.en.htm

University of Vienna - Vienna Institute of Demography ( email )

Prinz Eugenstr. 8-10
Vienna, 1040
Austria

Markus Sauerberg

Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (Univ. Vienna, IIASA, VID/ÖAW), Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Benedetta Scotti

Department of Social and Political Sciences, Bocconi University

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
298
Downloads
22
PlumX Metrics