Locatelli I, Rousson V (2021) A first analysis of excess mortality in Switzerland in 2020. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0253505. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253505
A First Analysis of Excess Mortality in Switzerland in 2020
To quantify the excess all-cause mortality in Switzerland in 2020, a key indicator for assessing direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using official data on deaths in Switzerland, all-cause mortality in 2020 was compared with that of previous years using directly standardized mortality rates, age- and sex-specific mortality rates, and life expectancy.
The standardized mortality rate was 8.6% higher in 2020 than in 2019, returning to the level observed 5-6 years ago. This increase was greater for men (10.4%) than for women (7.0%), and was statistically significant only for men over 70 years of age, and for women over 75 years of age. The decrease in life expectancy in 2020 compared to 2019 was about 1%, with a loss of 9.4 months for men and 5.1 months for women.
There was an excess mortality in Switzerland in 2020, linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as this excess only concerned the elderly, the resulting loss of life expectancy was restricted to a few months.