Chronic ischaemic heart disease was the most common main pre-existing condition found among deaths involving Covid-19, according to new analysis by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Covid-19 was the third most frequent underlying cause of death occurring in March and males had a significantly higher rate of death due to Covid-19 - double that of females.

Dementia and Alzheimer disease was the underlying cause of death with the most deaths (6,401 deaths), accounting for 14% of all deaths occurring in March 2020. This was followed by Ischaemic heart diseases with 4,042 deaths (9%) and the coronavirus (Covid-19), with 3,372 deaths (7%).

The latest analysis found that there were 3,912 deaths involving Covid-19 that occurred in March 2020 in England and Wales; of these, 3,372 (86%) had Covid-19 assigned as the underlying cause of death.



Of the deaths, there was at least one pre-existing condition in 91% of cases. Chronic ischaemic heart disease was involved in 541 deaths (14% of all deaths involving Covid-19).

Pneumonia, dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were all in the top five most common pre-existing conditions.

One in five deaths were in 80 to 84 years age group

Taking into account the age-structure of the population, the rate of deaths due to Covid-19 was 68.5 deaths per 100,000 persons; this was 69.7 per 100,000 persons in England compared with 44.5 per 100,000 persons in Wales.

The rate of death due to Covid-19 increased significantly in each age group, starting from 55 to 59 years in males and 65 to 69 years in females; one in five deaths were in age group 80 to 84 years.

On death certificates, a doctor can list all causes in the chain of events that led to the death, or pre-existing conditions that may have contributed to the death. Using this information, the ONS could determine deaths that were “due to” Covid-19, that means Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death.