The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their provisional mortality data on the leading causes of death in the United States last year. Having claimed about 375,000 lives, the CDC says COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020, coming in third only for heart disease and cancer.
The CDC notes that, at this time, its annual mortality statistics may still be incomplete and that the final report will not arrive until the end of the year. The reason, explains the agency, is because the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System uses data from death certificates.
It takes time to ‘investigate certain causes of death and process and review the data’, says the CDC. For this reason, the current report may have underestimated the number of deaths in the past year and their causes. Despite this, currently available data shows COVID-19 as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. last year, at about 11.3 percent of the approximate total of 3,358,814 deaths.
The death rate, after adjusting for age, increased 15.9 percent last year, the report reveals. The highest mortality rates were observed in non-Hispanic American and Alaskan indigenous populations, as well as in black non-Hispanic groups. When looking specifically at COVID-19, Hispanics had the highest mortality rate.
In addition, COVID-19 deaths particularly affected men and adults aged 85 and over. Statistics include deaths in which COVID-19 was listed as the contributing cause or cause of death. You can read the full report, including all the data that was included in it, on the CDC website here.