Impact of COVID-19 on care-home mortality and life expectancy in Scotland

Burton, J. K. et al. (2021) Impact of COVID-19 on care-home mortality and life expectancy in Scotland. Age and Ageing, 50(4), pp. 1029-1037. (doi: 10.1093/ageing/afab080) (PMID:33914870) (PMCID:PMC8135527)

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Background: COVID-19 deaths are commoner among care-home residents, but the mortality burden has not been quantified. Methods: Care-home residency was identified via a national primary care registration database linked to mortality data. Life expectancy was estimated using Makeham-Gompertz models, to (i) describe yearly life expectancy from November 2015 to October 2020 (ii) compare life expectancy (during 2016–2018) between care-home residents and the wider population and (iii) apply care-home life expectancy estimates to COVID-19 death counts to estimate years of life lost (YLL). Results: Among care-home residents, life expectancy in 2015/16 to 2019/20 ranged from 2.7 to 2.3 years for women and 2.3 to 1.8 years for men. Age-sex specific life expectancy in 2016–2018 in care-home residents was lower than in the Scottish population (10 and 2.5 years in those aged 70 and 90 respectively). Applying care-home specific life expectancies to COVID-19 deaths yields, mean YLLs for care-home residents of 2.6 and 2.2 for women and men respectively. In total YLL care-home residents have lost 3,560 years in women and 2,046 years in men. Approximately half of deaths and a quarter of YLL attributed to COVID-19 were accounted for by the 5% of over-70s who were care-home residents. Conclusion: COVID-19 infection has led to the loss of substantial years of life in care-home residents aged 70 years and over in Scotland. Prioritising the 5% of older adults who are care-home residents for vaccination is justified not only in terms of total deaths, but also in terms of years of life lost.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burton, Dr Jenni and McAllister, Professor David and Quinn, Professor Terry and Hanlon, Dr Peter
Authors: Burton, J. K., Reid, M., Gribben, C., Caldwell, D., Clark, D.N., Hanlon, P., Quinn, T. J., Fischbacher, C., Knight, P., Guthrie, B., and McAllister, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Age and Ageing
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1468-2834
Published Online:29 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Age and Ageing 50(4): 1029-1037
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305232Understanding prevalence and impact of frailty in chronic illness and implications for clinical managementFrances MairMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/S021949/1HW - General Practice and Primary Care
173492Combining efficacy estimates from clinical trials with the natural history obtained from large routine healthcare databases to determine net overall treatment benefitsDavid McAllisterWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)201492/Z/16/ZInstitute of Health & Wellbeing