- Given the fact that fatalities caused by COVID-19 are mostly concentrated in older age groups who suffer from underlying medical conditions and with considerable differences between males and females, for the management of sanitary response, it is important to avail of harmonised data on cases and fatalities by age and gender.
- Such data needs to be adjusted considering the underlying differences in age structure.
- Despite the demographic adjustments, the distribution of both cases and fatalities across ages shows several anomalies. A striking anomaly is in the case of Italy which has a high Case Fatality Rate for ages above 60 years in respect to other countries.
- The literature points to the fact that differences in age distributions of the Case Fatality Rate may originate from the procedure adopted in each country for testing and reporting positive cases and fatalities attributable to COVID-19 and todemographic factors.
- In our analysis, when considering fatalities in relative terms across age groups rather than the CFR, we don’t find significant differences between countries, since 94% of fatalities are uniformly concentrated in the population over 60 years of age.
- A territorial analysis of the distribution of cases and fatalities shows that there are clear geographical patterns in the diffusion of the disease, but these patterns are not related to differences in the share of elderly across provinces and regions.
- These last two findings seem to exclude the fact that an older population alone may justify the high number of fatalities recorded in particular in the case of Italy.