Online International Conference of COVID-19 (CONCOVID), 12 Haziran - 14 Aralık 2020, ss.86-87
STANDARDIZED RATES FOR COVID-19 DEATHS
Abstract: Objective: Standardization tecniques, when applied to death rates eliminate the effect of the
age distribution in the population. Since it is observed that the risk of deaths due to COVID-2019 is
effected by age, this study has been carried out with the aim of comparing COVID-2019 related death
rates of some countries with different demographic structures by standardizing them.
Methods: The COVID-2019 death data of 9 countries on similar dates are analyzed. The countries for
which age specific death numbers or rates(due to COVID-2019) used were: Australia, Canada, Italy,
Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and United States. The method of direct
standardization was applied on the data. Crude Death Rates(CDR) and Standardized Mortality
Rates(SMR) and death rates by age bands were calculated for 9 countries. The standard population
used in the calculations is the one recommended by the World Health Organization(WHO) for
standardizing mortality rates. Population estimation in age bands for 9 countries were obtained from
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) data platform.
Results: When examined the results show that, except for Spain and Italy (the oldest two of the
group), the CDRrank and the SMRrank values are the same for all of the countries. But when a
comparison of the magnitude of rates between any two countries is aimed, this comparison may be
misleading with the CDR. As an example, the ratio of CDRs belonging to Italy and USA is 7, whereas
this ratio is 4 when SMRs are considered. The ratio of CDRs belonging to İtaly and Australia is 127,
whereas this ratio is 86 when SMRs are considered.
Conclusion: SMR should be used for comparing the magnitude of death rates between countries due
to its benefit in eliminating the effect of age.
Keywords: Covid-19, Crude Death Rate(CDR), Standardized Mortality Rate(SMR), Age Spesific