Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Outlier For Death

No harder measure of the coronavirus pandemic's toll exists: death from any cause rose 23% nationwide in 2020.

That meant 522,368 excess deaths from March through the end of 2020 compared with a projection from the prior 5 years, Steven Woolf, MD, MPH, of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and colleagues reported in JAMA.

It's well above the unofficial tally of COVID-19 deaths, which reached about 339,000 deaths by the end of 2020.  COVID directly accounted for about 72% of the excess mortality, Woolf's group found.

The rest might have been "either immediate or delayed mortality from undocumented COVID-19 infection, or non–COVID-19 deaths secondary to the pandemic, such as from delayed care or behavioral health crises," they suggested.

-- Crystal Phend, "Just How Much Was 2020 an Outlier for Deaths?", MedPage Today, 2 April 2021

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