Impact of COVID-19 on Spanish mortality rates in 2020 by age and sex

J Public Health (Oxf). 2023 Aug 28;45(3):577-583. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdad023.


Background: Previous studies have used different biometric indicators to measure the effect of Covid-19 on population mortality such as the number of deaths or the decrease of life expectancy showing a dependence of mortality on age and sex. According to them, the impact of the pandemic was greater on women than in men and that the older the population, the greater the number of deaths caused by Covid-19.

Methods: We apply graduation techniques and non-parametric methods to estimate mortality rates allowing us to obtain an age-by-age picture of changes in mortality rates from 2018-2019 to 2020.

Results: Graduation techniques have detected a significant U-shaped reduction in infant mortality rates although with an anomalous peak in girls aged 10-12. Likewise, we have observed a notable increase in mortality rates of the female population between 28 and 40 years of age. The increase of mortality rates after the age of 70 years was similar for both men and women with a slight decline after the age of 80.

Conclusions: The use of graduation techniques and the focus on age-by-age changes in mortality rates showed a complex behaviour in some tranches of the mortality curve that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Keywords: Covid-19; graduation; mortality rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Mortality