Covid is leading cause of death for second month running, new stats reveal

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, new data has revealed.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that last month, the virus was responsible for over one in five deaths registered (20.8 per cent), making it the leading cause of death for the second month running.

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The data also revealed that the coronavirus caused one in four deaths (27.4 per cent).

The figures from the ONS today come after it was revealed that one in eight recovered Covid patients die within 140 days – with a third readmitted within weeks.

New figures from Leicester University and the ONS found that of 47,780 people discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent returned in less than five months.

Of those readmitted, 12.3 per cent of them died.

The monthly ONS mortality report, released today revealed that in December 2020, there were 52,676 deaths registered in England.


This is 10,594 (25.2 per cent) more than the five year average between 2015 and 2019 for December.

There were 3,941 deaths registered in Wales, 1,075 (37.5 per cent) more than the five year average.

Covid-19 was the leading cause of death for the whole of 2020, with dementia and Alzheimer's disease being the second most common cause of death.

In December 2020, 233,6 deaths per 100,000 were related to Covid-19 and 374.4 deaths per 100,000 in Wales were also Covid related.

The ONS said that the Covid mortality rate significantly increased for the fourth consecutive month in England and the third consecutive month in Wales.

The ONS report stated: "Based on provisional data, there were 52,676 deaths registered in England in December 2020.

"This was 8,390 more deaths than in December 2019 and 10,594 deaths more than the five-year average (2015 to 2019).

"Of the deaths registered in December 2020, 26,981 were males and 25,695 were females."


While the coronavirus was the leading cause of deaths across England and Wales, dementia and Alzheimer's was second.

In December 112 people per 100,000 died of the condition, this is compared to the five year average of 126.2 per 100,000.

The third leading cause of death was ischaemic heart disease, with 93.3 deaths per 100,000 compared to the five year average of 98.8.

The other leading causes of mortality were cerebrovascular disease – this refers to conditions that block blood flow to the brain including strokes.

Bronchus and lung conditions were next, followed by lower respiratory diseases and bowel cancers.

Other leading causes included ill-defined conditions, flu and pneumonia and prostate cancers.


Looking specifically at the areas that were hit hardest by the virus, and the ONS states that Yorkshire and The Humber has seen the most Covid-19 related deaths.

The region recorded 320.5 deaths per 100,000 people.

It was followed by the East Midlands, which recorded 316.0 deaths per 100,000 people.

The South West had the lowest Covid 19 mortality rate, recording 123.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Separate data from Public Health England shows that there are signs that cases are slowing – but experts previously warned that it could be weeks before this is seen in hospitalisations and death tolls.

For the seven days to January 13 PHE states that just 11 per cent of local authorities in England have seen a rise in cases with 89 per cent seeing a fall.

Across the UK 89,261 people have lost their lives due to Covid-19.

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