Heart disease was responsible for about 690,000 deaths, cancer for 598,000 and covid-19 for 345,000, according to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The coronavirus caused the overall mortality rate to increase by almost 16% compared to 2019, they noted. That rate has not increased since 2017.
In total, more than 3.3 million people died between January and December 2020 in the United States, indicated the CDC, which analyzed death certificates in the country.
These causes of death were followed by unintentional injuries, strokes, chronic respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, flu and pneumonia and kidney diseases, in numbers consistent with previous years.
Mortality rates for covid-19 were highest among adults aged 85 and over and men, as well as among blacks and Native Americans.
In all, 3,358,814 people died in 2020, excluding deaths of residents of US territories and other countries.
The age-adjusted mortality rate increased by 15.9%, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000.
Age adjustment is a statistical method used to allow comparison of mortality rates in different populations.
Covid-19 has been reported as the main cause or contributor in 377,883 deaths. In 91% of this total, or 345,323 deaths, covid-19 was the prevalent cause.
Mortality rates for covid-19 were 0.2 per 100,000 among children aged 1 to 14 years, but have increased dramatically to 1,797.8 per 100,000 in people aged 85 and over.
The age-adjusted mortality rate for covid-19 was 115 per 100,000 among men and 72.5 per 100,000 among women.
Likewise, the age-adjusted covid-19 mortality rate was lowest in Asian people in Hispanic, at 66.7 per 100,000, and the highest in Hispanics, at 164.3 per 100,000.
In whites it was 72.5 per 100,000 and in blacks, 151.1 per 100,000.
“Unfortunately, considering the current state of the pandemic, these consequences continue into 2021, where we continue to see people of color being the target of most of these deaths,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.
“This data should serve as an impetus for us to continue playing our role in reducing the number of cases, reducing the spread of covid-19 and vaccinating people as quickly as possible,” he added.
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