Excess deaths by sex and Age Group in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Ian G Ludden, Sheldon H Jacobson, Janet A Jokela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic hastened hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States. Many of these excess deaths are directly attributed to COVID-19, but others stem from the pandemic's social, economic, and health care system disruptions. This study compares provisional mortality data for age and sex subgroups across different time windows, with and without COVID-19 deaths, and assesses whether mortality risks are returning to pre-pandemic levels. Using provisional mortality reports from the CDC, we compute mortality risks for 22 age and sex subgroups in 2021 and compare against 2015-2019 using odds ratios. We repeat this comparison for the first twelve full months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (April 2020-March 2021) against the next twelve full months (April 2021-March 2022). Mortality risks for most subgroups were significantly higher in 2021 than in 2015-2019, both with and without deaths involving COVID-19. For ages 25-54, Year 2 (April 2021-March 2022) was more fatal than Year 1 (April 2020-March 2021), whereas total mortality risks for the 65 + age groups declined. Given so many displaced deaths in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality risks in the next few years may fall below pre-pandemic levels. Provisional mortality data suggest this is already happening for the 75 + age groups when excluding COVID-19 deaths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Care Management Science
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 23 2022
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Odds ratios
  • Risk analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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