Black Americans have the highest per capita mortality rate, and the regional surge has led to a higher per capita mortality rate. Coronavirus disease And other reasons, led by VCU Journal of the American Medical Association The study found.
An analysis of trends in excessive deaths in the 50 states of Michigan found that the continued surge in the southern and western regions in the summer and early winter of 2020 has led to an increase in regional excessive mortality, whether it is COVID-19 or other causes. The latest study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University points out that in 2020, blacks have the highest per capita mortality rate of any race or ethnic group.
The research report was published today (Friday, April 2, 2021) in Journal of the American Medical AssociationThe data provides the latest data for the last 10 months of 2020. These data show that during 2020, the number of Americans who died due to the pandemic (only the number of deaths from COVID-19), and which state and ethnicity were affected The biggest hit.
The lead author of the study, Steven Woolf, MD, said: Honorary Director of the VCU Center for Society and Health. From March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021, driven by the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 and other causes, the number of excessive deaths across the country has increased by an astonishing 22.9%, and regions have experienced different periods of time. A surge.
“COVID-19 accounts for approximately 72% of the additional deaths we are calculating, which is similar to what our previous research has shown.” Woolf said: “The number of publicly reported COVID-19 deaths is the same as the excess deaths actually experienced in the country. There is a considerable gap between the totals. “
During this period, of the 522,368 additional deaths across the country, another 28% may actually be from COVID-19, even though the virus was not listed on the death certificate due to reported issues.
But Woolf said the interference caused by the pandemic is another cause of 28% of the additional deaths, and this is not due to COVID-19. Examples might include deaths due to failure to seek or find proper care in an emergency situation (such as a heart attack), deaths due to a chronic disease (such as diabetes) experiencing fatal complications or facing a behavioral health crisis leading to suicide or drug overdose .
“These three types of diseases may cause an increase in the death toll of people who do not have COVID-19, but their lives are basically caused by the pandemic,” said Woolf, a professor in the institution’s Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. VCU School of Medicine.
The percentage of excess deaths among non-Hispanic black individuals (16.9%) exceeds that of the U.S. population (12.5%), reflecting racial differences due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, Woolf and colleagues’ other causes of death, the author writes In the paper. The excess death rate for black Americans is higher than the excess death rate for non-Hispanic white or Hispanic populations.
Woolf said that because of mounting evidence that people of color are at increased risk of dying from COVID-19, his team has an incentive to segment this information by race and ethnicity.
VCU’s C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright, Outstanding Chairs of Population Health and Health Equity Woolf said: “We have found too many excess deaths among black Americans.” “Of course, this is consistent with the evidence about COVID-19, but It also shows that among African-Americans, additional deaths caused by conditions other than COVID-19 also occur at a higher rate.”
In different parts of the United States, the trend of the death toll is different. Northeastern states, such as New York and New Jersey, were the first countries affected by the epidemic. Woolf said their pandemic curve looks like a capital “A”, which peaked in April due to strict restrictions and quickly returned to baseline within eight weeks. But in other states, the increase in the number of excess deaths lasted longer. These states lifted restrictions earlier and were hit hard later this year. Woolf cited decisions made by some governors for economic or political reasons to reluctantly accept or dissuade pandemic control measures such as wearing masks.
“They said they opened up early to save the economy. The tragedy is that the policy not only killed more people, but actually hurt their economy by extending the duration of the flu pandemic.” Woolf said. “One of the important lessons that our country must learn from COVID-19 is that our health is closely linked to the economy. You really cannot rescue a person without anyone else.”
According to the data from this study, the 10 states with the highest per capita excess mortality rate are Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, South Dakota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Ohio .
Woolf predicts that from a national perspective, the United States will see the consequences of this pandemic after this year. For example, if the pandemic forces people to postpone screening or chemotherapy, then cancer mortality may increase in the next few years.
Woolf said that it is now possible to “provide help to families, expand access to medical care, improve behavioral health services, and work hard to bring economic stability to the majority of the population, so as to solve future diseases caused by severe downstream effects on the economy.” And death. Already living on the edge before the pandemic.” Among other studies, his team’s 2019 Jama He said that the study of working-age mortality has emphasized the importance of prioritizing such public health measures.
Woolf said: “Compared with other countries that compete with the United States, American workers’ illnesses and deaths are earlier than those of workers in other countries.” “So, in this case, as with COVID-19, it is helpful to health. The investment is also important to the U.S. economy.”
Dr. Derek Chapman, Dr. Roy Sabo, and Dr. Emily Zimmerman of VCU Social and Health Center and School of Medicine and Woolf co-authored the paper published on Friday “March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021, COVID-19 and others There are too many deaths due to causes.”
Their study also confirmed the trend pointed out by the Woolf group in an early study in 2020: the mortality rate of several non-COVID-19 diseases, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease Illness and diabetes increase during the emergency department.
Peter Buckley, MD, Dean of the VCU School of Medicine, said: “Due to the pandemic and its aftermath, this country has suffered a huge loss of life, especially in communities of people of color.” During the epidemic, we must remain vigilant and pay attention to maintaining social isolation and wearing masks, but if we want to reduce the possibility of further loss of life, we must also make efforts to ensure the fair distribution of medical services.”
Based on current trends, Woolf said that even if vaccination is ongoing, the surge in the United States may not end.
“We are not out of the predicament because we are competing with COVID-19 variants. If we give up too early and do not maintain public health restrictions, then this vaccine may not outperform these variants.” Woolf said. “Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that many states have not yet learned the lessons of 2020. They have again lifted restrictions, opened businesses, and now see variants of COVID-19 spread among their populations.
“To prevent more excessive deaths, we need to hurry up and maintain our public health restrictions so that the vaccine can work and control the number of cases.”
Reference: April 2, 2021, Jama.
DOI: 10.1001 / jama.2021.5199
Funding sources: National Translational Science Promotion Center (National Institutes of Health), National Institute of Aging (National Institutes of Health)