New figures show coronavirus death rate for men was double that of women last month

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The death rate for men with coronavirus (Covid-19) was twice as high as that of women in England and Wales in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Coronavirus was the underlying cause of death in 3,372 deaths in March: the equivalent of 69 per 100,000 people, the ONS said.

It accounted for 7% of all deaths in England and Wales that month – 9% of all deaths for males and 6% for females.

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The mortality rate for men who died due to coronavirus was 97.5 deaths per 100,000 population, while for women it was 46.6 deaths per 100,000, the ONS said.

Including cases where Covid-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, the death rate for men was 113.1 per 100,000 for men and 54.1 per 100,000 for women.

Death rates increased in every age group for both men and women, and the gap between men and women was significant from age 55 and up.

It also found the mortality rate in England was “significantly higher” than in Wales, at 69.7 deaths per 100,000 people compared to 44.5 deaths per 100,000 people.

Its analysis looked at all coronavirus-related deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 1 and 31 March, registered up to 6 April.

But the ONS cautioned that the total number of deaths for the month is likely to increase as more deaths are registered.

Nine in 10 of the deaths involving Covid-19 were in people with pre-existing conditions, the ONS said.

Chronic ischaemic heart disease was the most common main pre-existing condition and was involved in 541 deaths (14% of the total).

It also found that Covid-19 was the third most frequent underlying cause of death.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the underlying cause of death in the most deaths for the month (6,401 – the equivalent of 130 deaths per 100,000 people), and which accounted for 14% of all deaths in March.

This was followed by ischaemic heart diseases, with 4,042 deaths (83 per 100,000 people), which accounted for 9% of the total.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the overall mortality rate for March was “significantly lower” than the five-year average, the ONS said.

It suggests this could be due in part to the colder winters in 2015 and 2018, which led to a higher number of deaths in the winter months.

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