Non-COVID-19 deaths after social distancing in Norway

Ralph Catalano, Joan A. Casey, Tim A. Bruckner, Alison Gemmill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lay persons and policy makers have speculated on how national differences in the imposition of social distancing to reduce SARS CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection has affected non-COVID-19 deaths. No rigorous estimation of the effect appears in the scholarly literature. We use time-series methods to compare non-COVID-19 deaths in Norway during its 9 weeks of mandated social distancing to those expected from history as well as from non-COVID-19 deaths in relatively less restricted Sweden. We estimate that 430 fewer Norwegians than expected died from causes other than COVID-19. We argue that failing to account for averted non-COVID-19 deaths will lead to an underestimate of the benefits of social distancing policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1024
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Non-Covid-19 Deaths
  • Norway
  • Social Distancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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