COVID-19 no longer in top five leading causes of death in England and Wales

Covid tests recalled in the US over possible bacteria contamination

Covid tests recalled in the US over possible bacteria contamination Credit: PIRO4D/

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 is no longer on the list of the five leading causes of death in England and Wales.

It was the leading cause of death in 2020 with 73,766 (12.1 per cent) deaths and again in 2021 with 67,350 deaths (11.5 per cent) according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Last year COVID levels were the highest they had ever been in England and Wales. There was a peak at 4.4 million weekly infections at the end of March 2022 and this was due to the development of new variants.

But, due to the success of the vaccination rollout which began in 2021, there was an overall drop in COVID deaths by 2022.

The other four leading causes of death in 2022 were ischaemic heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes and aneurysms, cerebrovascular disease and cancer of the lung, trachea and bronchus.

Still, the number of deaths was up on the five-year average. In England and Wales, there were 577.160 registered deaths which are higher than the five-year average although lower for 2021 and 2022.

However, experts have said factors such as seasonal viruses like flu, pressures on the NHS, access to medical services and the impact of the summer heatwave could have contributed to the higher death rate.


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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.