COVID-19 leading cause of death ranking

COVID-19 is on track to be the third leading cause of death in the United States for the third year in a row. The virus claimed more than 340,000 lives in 2020, 475,000 lives in 2021, and so far, has taken 230,000 lives in 2022 through September. This updated issue brief examines COVID-19’s effect on mortality rates.

The updated analysis finds that nearly as many people died of COVID-19 in January and February of 2022 as typically die from heart disease. The virus was the No. 1 cause of death for people over age 45 in January. COVID-19 deaths have since declined, but the virus remains a leading cause of death in the U.S..

The analysis can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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