INSEE points to excess mortality in July “probably” linked to heat wave

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On Friday, the statistics institute updated the data from its monitoring of mortality in France. He noted a sharp increase in the number of deaths last July and explains it by the damaging influence of heat waves. However, INSEE calls for caution: because this heat wave was contemporaneous with the seventh wave of Covid-19.

Originally it is only the monthly update carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), but it confirms the fears born from the heat waves that worsened this summer. This Friday, the INSEE confirmed in effect a clear excess of mortality in France during the last month of July, and estimates that the phenomenon is explained “probably by the heat wave” that occurred in this period “after a first wave episode mid-June heat. .”

The curve of deaths followed that of temperatures in July.
The curve of deaths followed that of temperatures in July. © BFTV

Peak mortality reached on July 19

In detail, 1,750 people lost their lives on average every day in July 2022, compared to 1,610 the previous month. On July 19 there were even 2,098 deaths. A peak well above the maximum rate recorded in July 2021, with 1,777 disappearances on the 23rd. The difference is even more striking if we make the comparison three years apart. July 2022 was 13% deadlier than July 2019.

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The summer was announced under gloomy auspices from the month of June. Thus, we deplore 1,755 deaths on June 18. On average, June 2022 exceeded June 2019 mortality by 4%.

A summer of 2022 deadlier than the heat wave of 2003

The INSEE note also provides an overview of the summer period and the human cost of the heat waves that have passed through it. 138,522 French people died during the summer of 2022, an increase of 5.7% compared to 2021… and 11.6% compared to 2019. But the reference point is still the year 2003, which unfortunately remained in the memory for its overwhelming heat wave and above all for the terrible number of human victims it had generated. However, this then amounted to 133,069.

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Would the 2022 summer heat wave undoubtedly have hit harder than the 2003 heat wave? Figures should be approached with caution here. Because in addition to the heat, July 2022 experienced another fever, that of the seventh wave of Covid-19. The pandemic has also claimed 704 lives in a week according to Public Health France’s weekly update of July 21.

The balance of the summer of 2022 surpassed that of 2003. The balance of the summer of 2022 surpassed that of 2003.
The balance of the summer of 2022 surpassed that of 2003. © BFMTV

The Public Health France report is expected in October

Therefore, the report by Public Health France on the subject will be especially expected to take into account the effect of heat waves and attacks of the disease in the assessment of mortality this summer. The presentation of the document is scheduled for October, according to information sent by the authority to the Parisian.

However, it will be necessary to show great precision because the factors of heat and disease do not necessarily exclude each other and can even combine to cause the death of an individual, as we explained in early August.

Covid or heat wave, some regions paid a particularly high price in the summer of 2022. Mortality in Occitanie was 19% higher than that observed in the same territory in 2019, such as Pays de la Loire. This surplus is 18% in Provence and 17% in New Aquitaine.

Asked on the sidelines of a trip to Corbeil-Essonnes on August 26 about the possibility of excess heat wave mortality this summer, Health Minister François Braun declined to come forward. “It is too early for an accurate analysis of the causes of death in the hospital”, the emergency doctor had then evacuated by training.

Author: Guillaume Barki with a motorhome
Source: BFM TV

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