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We already know men make up the majority of Covid-19 deaths. New analysis by the Forum suggests that men are also the majority (59%) of other excess deaths during this period.
Over the first three weeks of April 2020, the total number of deaths recorded by the ONS for England and Wales was 57,254. This was 25,932 deaths higher than the average for this period over the previous five years. Usually there are about 10,000 deaths a week in April. For April 2020, there were over 16,000 in the first week, over 18,000 in the second week and over 22,000 in the third.
Of these additional deaths 18,446 were attributed to Covid-19. But that leaves about 7,500 excess deaths unexplained. These could be Covid-19 deaths which don't mention it on the death certificate, perhaps because no test was done or some other reason. Or it could be linked to lower usage of health services for other conditions (that is people who in previous years might have sought medical help either not seeking it or not getting it because of Covid-19). There may be some other reason. But whatever the reason, 59% of these extra deaths were men.
We already know men make up 60% of Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales - a remarkably similar figure which may suggest many of these excess deaths are, indeed, down to unrecorded Covid-19.
Men's Health Forum CEO Martin Tod said:
It is striking that 59% of excess deaths which do not mention Coronavirus on the death certificate since the crisis began are also amongst men.
While this could relate to under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths, it could also be linked to lower usage of health services for other conditions. A full equalities analysis of this shortfall needs to be conducted with urgency.
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.
Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.
Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.