Covid 19 no longer claims as many victims as at the height of the pandemic and yet, the number of deaths was abnormally high in 2022 in France. INSEE noted the persistence of a clear excess mortality in France in 2022 compared to a "normal" year (excluding epidemic or unusual event), which Covid is not enough to explain, according to figures published on Tuesday by the Institute of Statistics. 675,000 people died in France in 2022, 53,800 more deaths than expected, given the age of the population and trends over the previous 10 or 15 years. The deviation from the forecast (+8.7%) is higher than that seen in 2021 (+6.9%) and 2020 (+7.8%) – the year in which the Covid epidemic exploded.
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Yet Covid 19 has killed significantly less in 2022, with 38,300 deaths against 59,100 in 2021, according to figures from Public Health France. "Deaths due to causes other than Covid-19 have therefore increased," says INSEE, which mentions "the two influenza epidemics" in March-April and December 2022, and also the high temperatures during the summer of 2022.
Long-term effects of Covid
"Finally, the Covid 19 epidemic may have led to an increase in deaths since 2020 due to indirect effects, such as postponements of operations or decreases in screening for other diseases," says INSEE. The French population may also be facing a more structural evolution, with a brake on the gains in life expectancy that were observed each year, explains INSEE. "There may also be an interruption or pause" in the downward trend in mortality "but without it being possible yet to identify it," says the institute.