The summer of 2022 was marked by an excess of 10,420 deaths in France, partly linked to high temperatures, but also to Covid or other factors, according to an estimate published Monday evening by the health authorities.
The calculation of Public Health France (SpF) is based on the number of deaths observed compared to that expected (compared to the five previous summers, with a greater weight in recent years to adjust in particular with demographic aging).
This summer, the second hottest in France since 1900, was also marked by an upsurge in Covid. Of the only three heat wave episodes in the summer of 2022 (at least three days each), 2,816 excess deaths from all causes were recorded. This is the balance sheet “biggest since 2003”the year of the most deadly heat wave (15,000 dead), noted Public Health France in a bulletin “Heat wave and health”.
Over the entire summer surveillance period (from June 1 to September 15), the health agency estimated the number of excess deaths at 10,420 (+6.1%). A figure which is in line with a previous, provisional estimate from INSEE (more than 11,000 additional deaths from June 1 to August 22 compared to the same period in 2019, therefore before the start of the Covid pandemic -19).
Part of the excess mortality is “probably due to exposure to high heat”, under “heat wave alert thresholds”. We will have to wait until early 2023 to have an estimate of its magnitude.
The Covid, rebounding this summer, also comes into play. But “there is an interaction between these two phenomena, inseparable”summarized during a press point Guillaume Boulanger, head of the unit “Quality of living and working environments and population health” of SpF.
People aged 75 and over were the most affected during the three heat waves: one in six excess deaths concerned them (2,272 excess deaths, +20.2%).
During these periods, 894 deaths linked to Covid-19 were also recorded, mainly for French people aged 70 and over.