Denmark: The Lowest Excess Mortality during the Influenza Pandemic Of 1918

Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Johns Hopkins University
Annette Erlangsen, University of Aarhus

The influenza of 1918 (H1N1 virus) had an unusual strong effect on young adults, ages 15 to 50. This excess adult mortality also occurred in Denmark. However, the adult mortality levels were lower in this country than in other region of the world. These low levels of adult mortality are also observed in Denmark in the years before and after the pandemic. An in-depth examination of the mortality data for Scandinavian countries who share a lot of similarities brings some insights to the reasons why Denmark had such low mortality in 1918. Furthermore, the results suggest that current levels of mortality in specifics regions of the world could help predicting deaths caused by the threatening avian influenza epidemic in the near future.

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Presented in Session 125: International Insights about Health and Mortality