The age-adjusted death rate in the United States increased by 16% in 2020, with the novel coronavirus taking third place among leading causes, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Heart disease caused 690,000 deaths last year, while cancer was responsible for 598,000. In comparison, COVID-19 caused or contributed to approximately 377,000 deaths, the agency said.
The highest rates of mortality overall occurred among older adults, especially those 85 years old and older. The highest overall rates by race occurred among non-Hispanic Black people and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native individuals. Both overall rates and COVID-19 rates were higher among males than females.
COVID-19 death rates were highest among adults aged ≥85 years, — not a surprise finding to those in the long-term care industry, whose residents accounted for 40% of COVID-19 related deaths, according to federal data. In addition, AI/AN and Hispanic persons, and males were more likely to die from COVID-19 than people of other races and females, respectively.
The most overall deaths in 2020 occurred during the weeks ending April 11, 2020, (78,917) and December 26, (80,656).
The data was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.