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COVID-19 third leading cause of death in 2020, CDC confirms

1 year 9 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, March 31 2021 Mar 31, 2021 March 31, 2021 10:37 AM March 31, 2021 in News
Source: CNN

Provisional data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States last year, after heart disease and cancer.

According to CNN, the death rate from 2019 to 2020 increased by 15.9%, going up from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

The early data showed that the top 10 leading causes of death in 2020 were:

-Heart disease



-Unintentional injury


-Chronic lower respiratory disease

-Alzheimer's disease


-Influenza and pneumonia

-Kidney disease

Scientists at the National Center for Health Statistics studied death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System, taking a close look at deaths among US residents between January and December of 2020.

"COVID-19 was the third leading underlying cause of death in 2020, replacing suicide as one of the top 10 leading causes of death," the researchers wrote in the report.

Previously, suicide had been the 10th leading cause of death but was downgraded to a lower spot in 2020 as pandemic related deaths increased.

In their report, researcher say that a total of about 3.36 million deaths occurred in 2020 and novel coronavirus was linked to nearly 378,000 -- or about 11.3% -- of those deaths. The data also showed that heart disease caused 690,882 deaths and cancer caused 598,932 deaths.

According to the data, death rates were highest among the Black and Native American or Alaska Native communities, adults ages 85 and older and men. The COVID-19 death rate specifically was highest among Hispanics, according to the CDC report.

Researchers not that these statistics are provisional, meaning numbers and death rates may change as additional information is received.

Final data for a given year is typically published about 11 months after the end of the calendar year.


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