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Doctors Warn These 8 Causes of Death Are on the Rise

Mortality was up in 2020, and not just in terms of COVID-19 deaths.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn't surprising the total number of deaths increased dramatically in 2020. However, according to new data, significantly more people died of other ailments this year than in previous years. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Monday in the New York Times, at least 356,000 more people in the United States have died than usual since the coronavirus pandemic—many of them not directly linked to the virus. March 15 to Nov. 14, more than 25 percent of deaths above average have been from other causes. Read on to find out why, and which issues increased, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Not All Deaths Are (Directly) Related to COVID

Nurse in hospital examining all the parameters

Researchers noted that a percentage of these additional deaths could have actually been due to the virus, but either misattributed or misdiagnosed. However, at the very least it is likely that there is an indirect relationship. For example, strains on the healthcare system, pandemic disruptions, limited supplies, or fear of exposure to the virus could have contributed to the deaths, according to the Times



Close-up Of Person's Hand Checking Blood Sugar Level With Glucometer

According to the analysis there 15% more deaths attributed to diabetes, a risk factor for COVID-19, during the time period. In several states, deaths attributed to diabetes are at least 20 percent above normal this year.


Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Mature Woman Comforting Man With Depression At Home

12% more people died of neurodegenerative ailments Alzheimer's disease and dementia during the pandemic than during the months of previous years. The Times points out that the increase could be due to challenges nursing homes incurred in providing care during the pandemic, pointing to the grim statistic that deaths in nursing homes account for more than a third of the nation's total coronavirus toll.


High Blood Pressure

Nurse taking the blood pressure of elderly man

The number of deaths attributed to high blood pressure, another COVID-19 risk factor, increased by 11%.

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Pneumonia and Flu

Doctor examining chest x-ray film of patient at hospital

Deaths due to pneumonia and the flu were also up 11%. It is very likely that many of these deaths were actually COVID, but misdiagnosed early on during the pandemic. In New York City, deaths from pneumonia and the flu were up a whopping 50%. British author John le Carré just died of pneumonia, for one.


Coronary Heart Disease

mature man having heart attack at home

Research has found that people with heart disease are more prone to severe illness and death if infected with COVID-19. According to the CDC, heart disease related deaths were up 6%.



CT scan of the brain of a patient with intracranial hemorrhage

More people died of a stroke during the pandemic than previous years. According to the statistics, deaths increased by 5%.



The diagnosis Sepsis written on a clipboard

Deaths due to sepsis, caused by a body's response in fighting an infection, were up 4%. 


Kidney Failure

Woman suffering from pain kidney disease while sitting on bed at home.

According to statistics, deaths due to kidney failure increased 1% during the period of the pandemic. 

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Not All Deaths Are Included

Female Wearing Face Mask and Social Distancing

It's important to note that deaths from external causes — including suicides and drug overdoses — which are also up where not included, as investigations are still underway. As for yourself, follow these public health fundamentals, no matter your health issue—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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