Problems of Data Availability and Quality for COVID-19 and Older People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Peter Lloyd-Sherlock* (Corresponding Author), Lucas Sempe, Martin McKee, Aravinda Guntupalli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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For all health conditions, reliable age-disaggregated data are vital for both epidemiological analysis and monitoring the relative prioritization of different age groups in policy responses. This is especially essential in the case of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), given the strong association between age and case fatality. This paper assesses the availability and quality of age-based data on reported COVID-19 cases and deaths for low and middle-income countries. It finds that the availability of reliable data which permit specific analyses of older people is largely absent. The paper explores the potential of excess mortality estimates as an alternative metric of the pandemic’s effects on older populations. Notwithstanding some technical challenges, this may offer a better approach, especially in countries where cause of death data is unreliable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141–144
Number of pages4
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number2
Early online date6 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of other researchers in identifying relevant data on older people and COVID-19. They are Liat Ayalon, Joseph Batac, Leon Geffen, Syed Moeez, Susan Nungo, Yelda Özen, and Walaa Talaat.


  • COVID-19
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • data
  • ageism
  • Ageism
  • Data
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aged
  • Developing Countries


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