Infectious Disease

Underrepresented populations had higher excess mortality rates in 2020

August 20, 2021

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Rossen does not report any relevant financial information. Please refer to the study for all relevant financial information from the other authors.

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New data in MMWR showed that underrepresented populations had higher excess mortality rates in 2020 and that COVID-19 was largely responsible for excess mortality in adults aged 25 and over.

Lauren Rossen, PhD, a senior health statistician in the Research and Methodology Division of the National Center for Health Statistics, and his colleagues analyzed data from the United States’ National Vital Statistics System and the US Census Bureau to determine the rate of additional deaths for every 100,000 person-years from Jan. December 29, 2019 through January 2, 2021 and the percentage of deaths “directly attributed to COVID-19”.

The data show that underrepresented populations had a higher excess mortality rate in 2020.
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Rossen and colleagues reported that adults under the age of 65 had the highest incidence rates of Black and American Indians or Native Americans. Among those over 65, Black and Hispanic populations had the highest excess mortality rates, with more than 1,000 additional deaths per 100,000 person-years.

Specifically among adults aged 65 years or older, there have been 52,132 additional deaths in Hispanic individuals, 85% of which were COVID-19 related; 2,215 additional Native American or Alaskan deaths, of which 123.8% have been linked to COVID-19; 13,554 additional deaths among Asians, 80.6% of which were COVID-19 related; 55,004 additional black deaths of which 78.7% were COVID-19 related; 304 additional deaths among native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, of which 109.4% were COVID-19 related; and 223,995 additional white deaths, of which 93.2% were COVID-19 related. The researchers found that values ​​of 100% or more suggest that the number of COVID-19-related deaths exceeds the number of additional deaths.

In adults ages 25 to 64, there were 32,305 additional deaths in Hispanic individuals, of which 77.7% were COVID-19 related; 2,950 additional Native American or Alaskan deaths, of which 61.2% have been linked to COVID-19; 3,613 additional deaths among Asians, of which 76.8% were related to COVID-19; 30,035 additional black deaths, of which 57.1% were COVID-19 related; 447 additional deaths among native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, of which 79.2% were COVID-19 related; and 54,197 additional white deaths, of which 46.4% were COVID-19 related.

In addition, there were 857 additional Hispanic deaths among those under the age of 25, of which 33.7% were COVID-19 related; 58 additional Native American or Alaskan deaths, of which 34.3% were COVID-19 related; 1,983 additional black deaths, of which 9.8% were COVID-19 related; and 1,299 additional white deaths, of which 13.6% were COVID-19 related.

“Of the nearly 2,000 additional deaths among black people under the age of 25, more than 90% were not directly attributed to COVID-19. Given that injury-related deaths are typically the leading causes of death in younger age groups, these excessive deaths in younger groups and associated inequalities could be related to an increase in homicides, drug overdoses and unintentional injuries in 2020, ”the researchers wrote.

Overall, the excess mortality incidence rates across all ethnic groups were higher in people aged 65 years or older (426.4 to 1,033.5 additional deaths per 100,000 person-years) than in people aged 25 to 64 years (30.2 to 221.1 additional deaths per 100,000 people). Years) and younger than 25 years (–2.9 to 14.1 additional deaths per 100,000 person-years).

“These results could help guide more focused public health messages and containment actions to reduce the death gap associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States by identifying the racial / ethnic groups and age groups with the highest Over mortality rates are to be identified, ”said Rossen and colleagues wrote.

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