(ABC4) – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused thousands of deaths across the United States since early 2020. In fact, it was the third-leading cause of death, according to a new report.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Provisional Mortality Data for the U.S.
In 2020, about 3,358,814 deaths occurred in the U.S.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused about 375,000 deaths in the nation, coming in behind cancer and heart disease, causing 598,000 and 690,000 approximate deaths, respectively.
While the death rate in the U.S. increased by just under 16% in 2020, the CDC reports overall death rates were highest among non-Hispanic Black persons and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons.
COVID-19 deaths were highest among Hispanics.
The CDC report indicates more men than women died due to COVID-19 and the hardest-hit age group was 85+ at more than 120,000 deaths reported.
Provisional number of COVID-19–related deaths and other deaths, by week
Data about COVID-19 deaths includes those for which the virus was listed on the death certificate as a confirmed or presumed underlying cause of death or a contributing cause of death, according to the CDC. Of the COVID-19 deaths reported in 2020, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of about 91% of virus-related deaths.
COVID-19 replaced suicide as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Other leading underlying causes of death reported in the U.S. include:
- Unintentional injury
- Chronic lower respiratory disease
- Alzheimer disease
- Influenza and pneumonia
- Kidney disease
Provisional number of leading underlying causes of death
The CDC says this report is based on provisional data, with the final annual mortality data typically released 11 months after the end of that specific calendar year. They add that the data can be limited for a number of reasons, including the cause of death for certain persons might have been misclassified.