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Interpretation of COVID-19 case fatality risk measures in England
  1. Katie Harman,
  2. Hester Allen,
  3. Meaghan Kall,
  4. Gavin Dabrera
  1. COVID-19 Epidemiology Cell, Public Health England, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Katie Harman, COVID-19 Epidemiology Cell, Public Health England, London SE1 8UG, UK; feedback.c19epi{at}

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Case fatality risk (CFR) describes the risk of fatality among individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. These metrics can indicate crude trends in the risk of death with COVID-19 and are often used as international comparators.1 However, demographic factors and changing testing practices can lead to substantial discrepancies. Here, we highlight complexity of CFR interpretation, using England as an example.

We calculated CFRs for laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the second pandemic wave (week 27 onwards) in England.2 CFR was calculated using a 60-day lag time, following an individuals’ first positive specimen. CFR was stratified by age group and gender, and for those aged ≥80 years old, by long-term care …

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  • Contributors All authors reviewed the data and contributed to the data interpretation and writing. KH, HA and MK were all involved in data analysis and accessed the underlying data.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.