Mortality rate substantially lower in 2004

14/02/2005 10:00

Almost 137 thousand inhabitants of the Netherlands died in 2004. This is over 5 thousand less than in 2003. The decrease is due to the fact that there was no flue epidemic and that the summer was relatively mild.

Deaths in the Netherlands

Deaths in the Netherlands

No flue epidemic

In 2004 there was no flue epidemic in the Netherlands, unlike 2003. Between 15 February and 30 April and in December 2004 the number of deaths was substantially lower than in the same periods of 2003.

Deaths per week, January-April and October-December, 2003 and 2004

Deaths per week, January-April and October-December, 2003 and 2004

Deaths caused by cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which are flue-related, was considerably lower in 2004 than in 2003 during the periods mentioned. Between 15 February and 30 April 2004 some 10 thousand people died of cardiovascular disease and 2.1 thousand of pneumonia and COPD. In 2003 about 1.6 thousand people more died of these causes of death.
In December 2004 800 fewer deaths due to these causes of death were registered than in 2003. The flue that started in December 2003 continued in January 2004, which led to a higher mortality rate in January 2004 than in 2003.

Deaths per week of cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and COPD, 2003 and 2004

Deaths per week of cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and COPD, 2003 and 2004

Mild summer

About 43.2 thousand people died in the period June - September 2004, 1,600 less than in the same period of 2003. This decrease in mortality was largest at the beginning of June, mid July and mid September.

Maximum day temperature and total mortality rate, summer 2003 and 2004

Maximum day temperature and total mortality rate, summer 2003 and 2004

The average maximum day temperature in these weeks in 2004 was almost 7 degrees less than in 2003. The number of deaths is clearly correlated with temperature developments.

Jan Hoogenboezem and Carel Harmsen