In 2016, a total of 4 186 people in the European Union (EU) died from influenza, recording a standardised death rate of 9 deaths per million inhabitants. The death toll fluctuates, depending each year on the specific virus which infected the population.
The elderly population has been worse affected by influenza than the younger population. In 2016, the standardised death rate for people aged 65 and above (corresponding to 70% of those who died from influenza in the EU) was 34 per million inhabitants. This is an improvement from a peak in 2015 (58 deaths per million inhabitants), but still slightly higher than in 2012 (27 deaths per million inhabitants). The vulnerability of elderly population to influenza highlights the reason why the general influenza vaccination is recommended particularly for the elderly.
By contrast, the standardised death rate of people younger than 65 years old was 3 per million inhabitants in 2016, and was even lower in the four years preceding that.
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Causes of death statistics are based on information derived from the medical certificate of cause of death. Causes of death are classified by the 86 causes of the "European shortlist", which is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).
Causes of death statistics present absolute numbers, crude death rates and (age-) standardised death rates. As most causes of death vary significantly with people's age and sex, the use of standardised death rates improves comparability over time and between countries.
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