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Excess mortality from record temperatures: Probably thousands dead from heat wave


In July, significantly more people died in Germany than in previous years in the month. Experts from the Federal Statistical Office blame the extremely high temperatures for this.

Enlarge image

During heat waves, older people with previous illnesses die the most

Photo: Rene Traut / imago images/Rene Traut

In July, twelve percent more people probably died in Germany due to the heat than the average for the years 2018 to 2021 for this month.

This is the result of a projection published by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Tuesday.

A total of 85,285 deaths were counted.

That's 9130 more than the average.

It is striking that - as in June - the number of deaths increased, especially in phases of very high temperatures, according to the office.

In calendar weeks 28, 29 and 30 (July 11 to 31), they were well above the comparative values ​​with a respective increase of 16 percent, 24 percent and 14 percent.

"The fact that the number of deaths increases in the course of heat waves is a well-known effect that has already been observed in previous years," the statisticians explained.

"This year, however, an unusually large number of weeks will be affected by this effect by the end of July."

Thousands of heat deaths in recent hot summers

Doctors also confirm this: "Past experience and the results of statistical models clearly indicate that there is a direct connection between heat waves and the additional deaths that have occurred," explained Stefan Muthers from the Center for Medical Meteorological Research of the German Weather Service in " Deutschlandfunk« .

People with previous illnesses, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases are particularly affected.

"When we talk about deaths, then of course it's mainly about older people and people with previous illnesses."

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the highest temperature of the year so far was measured on July 20, when 40.1 degrees were reached in Hamburg-Neuwiedenthal.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, around 7,600 people died in Germany during the heat wave in the summer of 2003 as a result of the high temperatures.

In the years 2006 and 2015 there were more than 6000 each.

Researchers from the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Environment Agency and the German Weather Service published a study on the hot summers of 2018 to 2020 just a few weeks ago.

A total of 19,300 people died from the effects of the heat.

This is the first time since 1992, when the study period began, that excess mortality due to heat has occurred in three consecutive years.

Corona effect negligible

The Federal Statistical Office also considers the corona deaths in its monthly statistics: According to the statistical office, a comparison of the total number of deaths with the number of Covid 19 deaths reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is only possible up to and including the 28th calendar week (11. until July 17) possible.

According to the information, 508 corona deaths with a death date this week have been reported to the RKI so far.

The total number of deaths in the 28th calendar week was 2525 cases (16 percent) above the average value of the four previous years.

While the corona numbers fell from the beginning of April to mid-June, they have increased slightly since then.

"But they only explain the increased number of deaths during this time to a small extent," it said.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-09

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