Slightly raised mortality during hot week
First clear increase since peak of additional deaths during pandemic
The excess mortality during the heat wave followed 13 weeks of relatively low mortality. Prior to this, mortality was elevated for nine weeks on account of the coronavirus epidemic. In weeks 11 to 19 of 2020, the estimated number of deaths in excess of the average during a similar-length period without a coronavirus pandemic stood at almost 9 thousand.
For week 33 and as at 18 August, the municipal health services (GGD) reported 15 confirmed COVID-19 deaths to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This means the excess mortality in week 33 is almost entirely due to the higher maximum temperatures.
|* provisional figures Data reported for the 2020 week 33 are estimates.|
More deaths as temperature risesThere were two official heat waves in 2019: from 22 through 27 July and from 23 July through 28 August. The first one was characterised by the highest maximum temperatures ever recorded in the Netherlands; almost 400 more people died than during an average summer week.
Previous research by CBS and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) showed a correlation between higher temperatures and increased death rates. In July 2006, during one of the longest and most intense heat waves in at least 100 years, there were an additional estimated one thousand deaths compared to an average month of July. Over the past few years, this correlation appears to have become less obvious. The heat waves in 2018 barely caused any excess mortality. This may be related to the elevated mortality earlier in the year, which was linked to the particularly severe winter with flu epidemic.
Additional deaths mainly among people over 80Excess deaths due to heat waves occur mainly among the population aged 80 years and over. This is also evident from the most recent heat wave. The estimated number of excess deaths in this age group was 300, similar to the heat wave last year.
More details next FridayThe mortality figures on week 33 presented here are estimates based on 85 percent of the death certificates as received by CBS. CBS will publish more detailed data on week 33 mortality on Friday 28 August. The data will be more complete by then and CBS will be able to provide a more accurate picture of mortality, also among long-term care users, by age group and by region.
- StatLine - Deaths registered weekly, by sex and age
- FAQ - How many deaths are registered per week?
- Article - The effect of the summer 2003 heat wave on mortality in the Netherlands
- News release - Mortality in times of corona
- News release - More deaths during recent heat wave
- RIVM - Weekly COVID-19 update: 12 Aug - 18 Aug 2020