COVID-19 Was Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States in Both 2020 and 2021
The results of a new study show that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States between March 2020 and October 2021, after heart disease and cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute analysis of national death certificate data, COVID-19 accounted for 1 in 8 deaths (or 350,000 deaths) during that period. Rounding out the top five causes of deaths were accidents and stroke, respectively. COVID-19 was among the top five causes of death during the 20-month period for every age group 15 years and older, the researchers found. They noted the pandemic has also had an indirect effect on other causes of death, with previous data indicating that deaths from other causes — such as heart disease, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes — rose from 2019 to 2020, possibly because people were hesitant to seek medical care due to concerns about contracting COVID-19. The findings are reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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