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COVID-19 Was the Third Leading Cause of U.S. Deaths in 2021

COVID-19 Was the Third Leading Cause of U.S. Deaths in 2021

The Coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the United States for the second year in a row in 2021, with death rates rising for most age groups, a government study showed on Friday. COVID-19 was the underlying or contributing cause of 460,513 deaths in the United States last year, a nearly 20% jump compared to 2020, the study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.

2021 was overall the deadliest year in recorded U.S. history, with the life expectancy of the average American dropping anywhere from two to six years as the virus continues to mutate and spread. Researchers analyzed death certificate data for deaths occurring among residents in the United States from January to December last year. They found that 2021 saw the highest overall death rate since 2003, with heart disease and cancer being the first and the second leading cause of death, respectively.

While COVID death rates were the highest for those 85 years and older in 2021, those rates fell from 2020. There were 94,884 COVID-19-related deaths last year among those aged 85 and above compared with 122,707 in 2020, data showed. The overall death rate was lowest among children aged 5 to 14 years old, and highest among people aged 85 and above, a trend similar to 2020, the report found. Deaths peaked in the months of January and September.

The report also found that the overall age-adjusted U.S. death rate rose nearly 1% from 2020 to 2021. Meanwhile, a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has found that nearly a quarter-million COVID-19 deaths in the United States could have been prevented through vaccination.

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The analysis is based on the fact that COVID-19 vaccines were available to nearly all U.S. adults by May 2021. It does not factor in the potential effects of boosters, although KFF said that if it did so, it would have likely found more preventable deaths. Children were excluded from the analysis.

 

 

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