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COVID-19 will drive a surge in excess mortality in 2020

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Excessive death COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) According to a recent US mortality analysis, the pandemic surged in 2020.

Conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University and led by Dr. Stephen H. Woolf and Dr. Derek A. Chapman, the study showed a 22.9% higher mortality rate in the United States since March, with a total mortality rate of 2,801,439. From 2020 to January 2021.

This rate is well above the average annual growth rate of 2.5% or less observed in recent years. It was estimated that more than 500,000 deaths (n = 522,368) were in excess.

The study used the Poisson regression model of the US mortality dataset from 2014 to 2019 to determine the expected number of deaths in 2020 using sources such as the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau. I predicted. During the observation period, data were taken from provisional unweighted mortality in Washington, DC and 49 states, with the exception of North Carolina due to inadequate data.

Mortality from non-COVID-19 causes was examined in data that included all mortality in which non-COVID-19 status was listed as the underlying cause of death.

Certain demographic groups were unequally affected by the pandemic, reflecting racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality. The over-mortality rate for non-Hispanic blacks was 16.9%, while it accounted for 12.5% ​​of the US population.

Data analysis also showed that the non-Hispanic black population experienced 208.4 deaths per 100,000. The non-Hispanic Caucasian population experienced 157.0 deaths per 100,000 and the Hispanic population experienced 139.8 deaths per 100,000.

Geographical regions experienced seasonally excessive surges throughout the year. The eastern United States surged in April, while the southern and western states continued to surge in summer and early winter. The regional surge was correlated with COVID-19 outbreaks in each region.

“Many of these states have weakly embraced or stopped pandemic measures and lifted restrictions faster than other states,” the investigators wrote.

However, by the end of 2020, deaths were above investigator model-based estimates in all parts of the country. The states with the highest per capita excess mortality rates included New York and New Jersey in the northeast, with observed and expected mortality rates of 1.38 and 1.37, respectively. In other regions, including Arizona and New Mexico in the southwest, the ratio of observed and expected deaths was 1.32 and 1.27.

Excessive mortality can also result from immediate or delayed mortality from undocumented COVID-19 infection, as well as secondary non-COVID-19 mortality during surge. Common mortality factors in the United States, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, increased during the surge. Population aging can also contribute to overestimation of overmortality, but this study did not adjust the findings.

so editorial Along with the study, Harvard Medical Doctor Alan M. Gerber supports the data found by Woolf and Chapman, comparing the US’s failed response to combat pandemics and war, and their impact on mortality. did.

“Society will always be better prepared to fight past pandemics than the upcoming unknown pandemics, just as military leaders prepare their troops to fight the final war,” Gerber said. Said.

Gerber believes that despite advances in vaccine production and vaccine treatment, increased risk of death, misclassification, and inconsistencies in reports have increased mortality directly and indirectly.

“The United States and other countries are most likely to learn from a pandemic if they understand the consequences of the failure,” Gerber said. “Woolf and colleagues’ studies show that they are at stake. Despite decades of scientific, medical and public health advances, the loss of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic Exceeds the mortality rate of large-scale wars. “

Research letter, “Excessive deaths from COVID-19 and other causes in the United States from March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021, ”Was published online JAMA.

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