What's your risk of death? COVID-19 Mortality report
Key messages from:
COVID-19 Mortality in Aotearoa New Zealand: Inequities in Risk.
Public Health Agency. 2022. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Published in September 2022 by the Ministry of Health
Overview of the Report
Prior to 2022, 55 deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand were attributed to COVID-19.
Between 1 January and 26 August 2022 there were a further 1,797 such deaths (158 in Māori, 111 in Pacific peoples, 60 in Asian people and 1,458 in ‘European and Other’ people; only 78 deaths were for those under 60y old).
This study focusses on deaths in NZ from 1 January 2022 to 22 August 2022.
Key predictors of mortality risk:
Age was the strongest predictor of mortality (only 4 percent under 60y), but after accounting for age differences between groups:
- Higher risk for Māori = 2 times greater than European and other group
- Higher risk for Pasifika = 2.5 time greater than European and other group
- Higher risk for those in most deprived 20 percent = 3 times those in least deprived 20 percent
- Higher risk for one or more comorbidities = 6.3 times the risk for those without comorbidities
- Māori and Pacific higher age adjusted risk is mediated by deprivation – about a quarter overall, but for under 60, deprivation accounted for half the increased risk.
- Having a serious comorbidity under 60 lifted risk by 78 times.
- Vaccination of 2 or more doses reduced the risk of death by 62 percent.
Whole population risk versus case fatality risk
- Mortality rate for all population = 33.7 per 100,000 population (1 Jan – 21 August 2022) [COVID underlying or contributory cause of death]
- Case fatality rate = 107 per 100,000 cases (1 Jan – 21 August 2022) [COVID underlying or contributory cause of death]
Vaccination is strongly protective
- Vaccination of 2 or more doses reduces mortality risk by 62 percent.
- Vaccination can reduce inequality
“…vaccination can mitigate the risk of mortality and reduce inequality and should remain a strong focus in the COVID-19 response strategy.” p22
NOTE: Manatū Hauora is planning a full analysis of vaccine effectiveness as a separate report.