CDC: Heart disease, diabetes deaths rose in 2020

As COVID-19 spread through the U.S. in 2020, the death rates for heart disease and diabetes saw significant increases, according to data from the CDC's Mortality Dashboard

In 2019, the death rate for heart disease was 161.5 deaths per 100,000 population. That rose to 167 in 2020 — about a 3.4 percent rise. 

The death rate for diabetes jumped nearly 14 percent between 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the diabetes death rate was 21.6 per 100,000 population, rising to 24.6 in 2020. 

While the CDC did not provide information on the reasons behind the increases, many studies over the last year have focused on pandemic-related delays in care. A November study published in JAMA Cardiology, for example, found the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest dropped 17 percent during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A separate study, published May 26 in Health Affairs, found that as emergency calls for heart issues fell by 27.2 percent in the Boston area, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests jumped nearly 36 percent, compared to historical baselines. 

To access the CDC's Mortality Dashboard, which includes data on 16 causes of death, click here.

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