Background and aim: Peru is the country with the highest mortality rate from COVID-19 globally, so the analysis of the characteristics of deaths is of national and international interest. The aim was to determine the epidemiological characteristics of deaths from COVID-19 in Peru from 28 March to 21 May 2020. Methods: Deaths from various sources were investigated, including the COVID-19 Epidemiological Surveillance and the National System of Deaths (SINADEF). In all, 3851 deaths that met the definition of a confirmed case and had a positive result of RT-PCR or rapid test IgM/IgG, were considered for the analysis. We obtained the epidemiological variables and carried out an analysis of time defined as the pre-hospital time from the onset of symptoms to hospitalization, and hospital time from the date of hospitalization to death. Results: Deaths were more frequent in males (72.0%), seniors (68.8%) and residents of the region of Lima (42.7%). In 17.8% of cases, the death occurred out-of-hospital, and 31.4% had some comorbidity. The median of pre-hospital time was 7 days (IQR: 4.0–9.0) and for the hospital time was 5 days (IQR: 3.0–9.0). The multivariable analysis with Poisson regression with robust variance found that the age group, comorbidity diagnosis and the region of origin significantly influenced pre-hospital time; while sex, comorbidity diagnosis, healthcare provider and the region of origin significantly influenced hospital time. Conclusion: Deaths occurred mainly in males, seniors and on the coast, with considerable out-of-hospital deaths. Pre-hospital time was affected by age group, the diagnosis of comorbidities and the region of origin; while, hospital time was influenced by gender, the diagnosis of comorbidities, healthcare provider and the region of origin.
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