Men, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions are most likely to die due to coronavirus, official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed.
New ONS data shows Covid-19 was the third most common cause of death in England and Wales in March, with nearly one in 10 deaths involving the disease. The data shows an average across the entire month – including the early days before the outbreak took hold – and is expected to be higher in April.
The figures come from an ONS study of deaths in March registered before 6 April. It found that that more than nine in 10 people who died due to Covid-19 had a pre-existing health condition, and many of those who died had multiple pre-existing illnesses. 14 per cent of those that died had ischaemic heart disease, making it the most common pre-existing condition associated with Covid-19 fatalities, followed by pneumonia, dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The death rate for men was almost double that of women. The data also confirmed that the elderly were disproportionately likely to die, with death rates increasing rapidly from the ages of 55-59 for men and 65-69 for women. Children seem to be virtually unaffected by the disease, with no deaths of people under 15 recorded in March.