Death rates in the U.S. are up significantly from other causes besides COVID-19, a study finds.
Researchers at the University of Illinois looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found an excess number of deaths in 2020 for men between 15 and 59 years of age and for women between 25 and 44. The study, published December 202 in Science Direct, shows that excess deaths were statistically significant for six age and gender groups.
“We know that the pandemic is selectively taking lives,” said Sheldon Jacobson, co-author of the study and professor of computer science at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “It also seems to be causing ancillary deaths that are not directly caused by COVID-19 but are a consequence of the fact that we have COVID-19 in our society, in our health care system, in our jobs, in our lives. We’re trying to capture those effects as data,” Jacobson said.
A report on December 14 in the New York Times using the recent CDC data shows that death rates are up from specific diseases from March until November. Deaths from diabetes are up 15 percent above normal, 12 percent for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, 11 percent for high blood pressure, flu and pneumonia, six percent for coronary heart diseases, five percent for stroke, 4 percent for sepsis, and 1 percent for kidney failure.
“At least 356,000 more people in the United States have died than usual since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the country in the spring,” states the report.