DATA INSIGHTS - Community mortality due to Covid-19

This Data Insights from researchers David Henderson, Jan Savinc and Iain Atherton explores the risk of mortality due to Covid-19 and other causes for people aged 65+ in the first wave of the pandemic in Scotland. 


This research, which is currently in progress, explores the implications of age and other factors for mortality in care home residents relative to people who lived in other settings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initial findings suggest both age and living in a care home were associated with a greater risk of dying due to Covid-19 or other causes. In other words, older people were more likely to die, as were care home residents. Interestingly, looking just at care home residents, the effect of age was greatly diminished, meaning that care home residents’ age didn’t play as big of a role in mortality as in the rest of the 65+ population.

Please read the full Data Insights here

New linkages

This study demonstrates the usefulness of the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) measure for identifying care home residents and further emphasises the need for better care home data collection.

The research team were able to identify more than two thousand additional care home residents using the Universal Property Reference Number (UPRN) than from hospital records alone. This shows how linking administrative data can enable and enhance analysis where relying on single data sources would be much less helpful or accurate. For more about using UPRN in data research, please see our guide.

Further Information

Our research team are currently finalising an academic paper which assesses the characteristics of those that died from Covid-19 and other causes during the first wave in Scotland in much greater detail. We look forward to sharing this when it’s published.

This article was published on 17 Feb 2022

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