COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in England and Wales in March behind dementia and heart disease according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is now the leading caused of death in England, accounting for 10.1% of all fatalities registered in March.
Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of deaths in Wales during March, accounting for 11.8% of all fatalities.
ONS data revealed that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in both countries for March, accounting for 9.2% of all fatalities registered in England and 6.3% in Wales.
The new data comes a day after the Government said a further 22 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 127,327.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 151,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Provisional ONS figures, published on Thursday, show there were 45,567 deaths registered in England in March, 956 fewer than in the same month last year but 656 more than the five-year average from 2015-19.
James White, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘It’s great to see Covid deaths dropping, particularly for people with dementia, worst hit by coronavirus, but we are hugely concerned that dementia returns as the leading cause of death in the UK, while still so much needs to be done to support people with the condition.
‘People with dementia have deteriorated significantly more than we would usually expect during the last year, so we are extremely concerned we’ll see a rise of pandemic-related dementia deaths continuing. We urgently need the government to introduce a national strategy to help prevent people living with dementia from permanently losing any more vital skills, and provide crucial support to those in care positions. And they need to follow through with their manifesto commitment to increasing dementia research funding so we can continue to make life changing progress. There is currently no cure for dementia, but with funding for research we will get there.’