Axenhus M, Schedin-Weiss S, Winblad B, Wimo A
Scand J Public Health 50 (6) 748-755 [2022-08-00; online 2021-12-21]
It has been found that COVID-19 increases deaths within common diseases in countries that have implemented strict lockdowns. In order to elucidate the proper national response to a pandemic, the mortality rates within COVID-19 and various diseases need to be studied in countries whose pandemic response differ. Sweden represents a country with lax pandemic restrictions, and we aimed to study the effects of COVID-19 on historical mortality rates within common diseases during 2020. Regression models and moving averages were used to predict expected premature mortality per the ICD-10 during 2020 using historical data sets. Predicted values were then compared to recorded premature mortality to identify changes in mortality trends. Seasonal increased mortality was found within neurological diseases. Infectious diseases, tumours and cardiac disease mortality rates decreased compared to expected outcome. Changes in mortality trends were observed for several common diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neurological and cardiac conditions, infections and tumours are examples of diseases that were heavily affected by the pandemic. The indirect effects of COVID-19 on certain patient populations should be considered when determining pandemic impact.