As dementia and diabetes deaths skyrocket in Scotland, Age Scotland calls for study


After estimates revealed a steep spike in excess fatalities from dementia and diabetes since the closure, a charity is calling for an inquiry.

New figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that between April and June, dementia deaths increased by a quarter (24.5%).

Diabetes deaths increased by 26.2 percent, while those from genitourinary system disorders increased by 22.5 percent.

As new figures released today (September 9) indicate a steep spike in deaths from dementia, diabetes and other causes during the lockdown, Age Scotland has expressed concern.

The leading charity for older people in Scotland is calling for an inquiry into the factors that have led to the elimination of social care packages or decreased access to care.

Increases in cancer (1.5 percent) and cerebrovascular disorder deaths have also occurred (5.3 percent).

Compared to the five-year average for the quarter, deaths from Covid-19 accounted for 83 percent of the 4515 excess deaths.

Age Scotland’s chief executive Brian Sloan said, “These figures are extremely worrying and there is a clear need for further investigation. Not only did older people bear the brunt of the coronavirus’ health impact, they were also at higher risk of dying from other causes such as dementia and diabetes.”

While it is difficult to speculate on the causes, there is likely to be a connection to the pandemic. We know that during these months, health and social services have been exhausted and many people have been hesitant or unwilling to seek medical assistance.

We are also really worried that the blanket cancellation of beneficiary welfare packages across Scotland at the end of March could have had a major effect on many people’s health and well-being.

These figures may be just the tip of the iceberg as well. While there has only been a small increase in the number of cancer deaths, postponement of regular check-ups and a sharp decrease in urgent referrals could have very significant repercussions in the future. Cancer is one of Scotland’s leading causes of death and it is absolutely vital that we redouble our efforts to ensure that people waiting for treatment are diagnosed early and clear the backlog.

“Each of these deaths is a devastating loss to family and friends. We urgently need to investigate the causes of these excess deaths and ensure that everyone has access to the health and social care they need. As we head into winter, we need to make sure the NHS and social care providers have the resources and support they need.”


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