UK Monthly Mortality Analysis: July 2023 Reveals Mixed Trends in Death Registrations

In the month of July 2023, the United Kingdom experienced notable variations in mortality trends, according to the latest provisional data released by the Office for National Statistics. The data offers insights into death registrations, excess mortality, leading causes of death, and more.

Death Registrations:

  • In England, there were 38,269 registered deaths in July 2023, marking a decrease of 2.5% (977 deaths) compared to the July five-year average spanning 2017 to 2019, 2021, and 2022.
  • Conversely, Wales saw 2,674 registered deaths in the same month, representing an increase of 3.7% (96 deaths) over the five-year average.

Age-Standardised Mortality Rates (ASMRs):

  • The age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR) for July 2023 in England stood at 776.3 deaths per 100,000 people, which was 9.0% below the average.
  • In Wales, the ASMR for the same period was 893.9 deaths per 100,000 people, showing a 2.3% reduction from the average. The difference in ASMR between England and Wales was statistically significant.

Year-to-Date Trends:

  • The year-to-date (January to July 2023) number of deaths in both England and Wales was above average, indicating an increase of 7.1% and 7.0%, respectively.
  • The year-to-date ASMR was higher in Wales by 0.5%, while in England, it was slightly below average by 0.2%.

Leading Causes of Death:

  • Ischaemic heart diseases emerged as the leading cause of death in both England and Wales, accounting for 9.9% and 9.6% of all deaths, respectively, in July 2023.
  • Notably, the leading cause of excess death in England during this period was symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions, which included “old age” and “frailty.” In Wales, it was heart failure, complications, and ill-defined heart disease.

Excess Mortality:

  • Excess mortality rates remained proportionally lower than the number of excess deaths in both England and Wales in July 2023, regardless of whether deaths or ASMRs were below or above the average.
  • The age-standardised mortality rate was used to consider population size and age structure in these comparisons.

These findings highlight the dynamic nature of mortality patterns in the UK during July 2023. The analysis underscores the significance of understanding demographic and health factors in interpreting the data and making informed assessments about public health and healthcare strategies.

For more detailed insights and analyses, refer to the full statistical bulletin provided by the Office for National Statistics.