The premise is that, against an increase in overall mortality of 42,634 units in the months of March and April 2020, about 85% of the growth is concentrated in 37 Northern Provinces plus that of Pesaro-Urbino. Here deaths almost doubled in March (+ 94.1%) and were around two thirds higher in April (+ 66%). A previous Istat report had estimated the impact on overall mortality in Italy with a model that assessed the hypothetical effects such as frequency of deaths and compared to changes in life expectancy at birth and at 65 years of age.
Now the researchers give “a more precise picture of the heterogeneity that seems legitimate to expect in the evolutionary scenarios of the phenomenon”. For this they elaborated three scenarios: “Optimist”, where it is hypothesized that, for the ages from 65 years onwards, the mortality values will return to normal from June and will no longer rise; “Moderate”, which provides a riacuirsi of mortality in October (with an increase equal to 12.5% of that recorded in March and April) and a worsening in November and December (increase equal to 25 and 50% respectively); “Pessimistic”, in which over October mortality would increase by a quarter compared to the peak while in November and December it would return to the levels of March.
On a national basis, deaths would increase in the three scenarios between 46.782 and 93.564, a value “which aligns with some significant variations already registered in the post-war period”. But the provinces of Bergamo, Milan, Brescia, Cremona and Turin contribute 45% to growth. While Rome shows the greatest decrease in deaths on an annual basis in absolute terms.
As for life expectancy, that at birth also in the intermediate scenario decreases in a “significantly more marked” way in the Northern Provinces. In those most affected by Covid-19, especially in the Northwest and along the Apennine ridge, “it would go from a life expectancy at the birth of almost 84 years to one of about 82”. in pessimistic scenario, in Bergamo and Cremona the drop would be over 5 years old. While the change is “in most cases negligible in a large part of the Provinces of Central and Southern Italy “.
The critical issues are more clear and evident if attention to the estimates on the life expectancy of over 65s: in all the provinces of the north and part of those of the center, a 65 year old in pre-Covid times could expect to live another 21 years on average, while with the effects of mortality due to the pandemic the years would drop in the moderate scenario to 19. For some territories, life expectancy “goes back about 20 years”, as in the case of Bergamo where in the scenario moderate falls by five years settling at the level ascertained in 2000 or Cremona where we return to 2003 with four lost years. Here the drop is also remarkable in the optimistic scenario: 4 years less in Bergamo, three years in Cremona, slightly less in Lodi and Brescia. In many other provinces, almost all in the North, the return to the past, even if it does not reach twenty years, is still more than a decade.