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COVID-19 was third leading cause of death in 2020, CDC says

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(NEXSTAR) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020.

The preliminary data, released Wednesday, estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic caused about 375,000 American deaths in 2020.

Ahead of COVID-19 were heart disease, which killed 690,000 people last year, and cancer, which killed 598,000, the CDC said.

COVID-19 increased the overall death rate in the country as well. From 2019 to 2020, the estimated death rate increased by 15.9%, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Black people and American Indians had the highest age-adjusted death rates, and there were more reported deaths among men than women.

COVID-19 was especially fatal for a handful of groups, including males, adults ages 85 and up, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Hispanics.

It’s possible the death rate from COVID-19 is higher, as some deaths may not have been correctly reported, especially at the start of the pandemic.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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