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Not coronavirus but dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the main cause of deaths in England in March, according to latest data.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 10.1 per cent of all deaths registered in March, whereas ischaemic heart disease accounted for 11.8 per cent of all deaths in Wales in the same month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today (April 22).

Significantly, the ONS data shows Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in both countries that month, accounting for 9.2 per cent of all fatalities registered in England and 6.3 per cent in Wales. The virus was the leading cause of death each month from November to February.

This is the first month since October 2020 that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death in England.

“The rate of deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was not significantly higher than the second most common cause of death in England, ischaemic heart diseases, with 96.9 deaths per 100,000 people (4,553 deaths),” ONS said.

In Wales, ischaemic heart diseases was the leading cause of death in March 2021, with 121.2 deaths per 100,000 people (351 deaths). This is the first month since August 2020 that ischaemic heart diseases was the leading cause of death in Wales.

The rate of deaths due to ischaemic heart diseases was not significantly higher than the second most common cause of death in Wales, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with 103.6 deaths per 100,000 people (299 deaths).

In March 2021, Covid-19 was the third most common cause of death in both England and Wales (89.3 and 65.2 deaths per 100,000 people respectively). Covid-19 was previously the leading cause of death in both England and Wales for four consecutive months.

“There were 45,567 deaths registered in England in March 2021, 656 deaths (1.5 per cent) more than the five-year average (2015 to 2019) for March; in Wales, there were 2,984 deaths registered, 87 deaths (2.8 per cent) fewer than the five-year average for March,” ONS data revealed.

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