COVID-19 3rd leading cause of death in the US last year, CDC finds

After heart disease and cancer, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, according to the CDC's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published March 31. 

COVID-19 was reported as the underlying or contributing cause of death for about 377,883 Americans in 2020, replacing suicide as one of the top 10 leading causes of death, according to the report. For comparison, heart disease and cancer accounted for 690,882 deaths and 598,932 deaths, respectively. 

Black Americans, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, men and those ages 85 and older saw the highest COVID-19 death rate. Overall, it was highest among Hispanics, according to the report.

Researchers analyzed data from the CDC's National Vital Statistics System, which collects and documents annual mortality statistics from death certificates, to conduct the research. Causes of death were coded based on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. 

To view the full report, click here.


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