COVID-19 Related Fatalities Fall
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported that during 2022, the estimated 2022 U.S. age-adjusted death rate decreased by 5.3% compared to 2021.
Furthermore, the CDC announced on May 4, 2023, the three leading causes of death in 2022 were heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury.
The number of deaths caused by unintentional injury was primarily driven by a high number of drug overdose deaths.
And COVID-19, the third leading cause of death in 2021, fell to fourth place in 2022. During 2022, COVID-19 was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of 244,986 deaths (61.3 per 100,000), a 47% decrease from 462,193 deaths (115.6 per 100,000) in 2021.
The May 5, 2023 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report did not examine death rates for causes of death other than COVID-19; however, available provisional data from the CDC WONDER platform indicate death rate patterns for leading causes of death.
The age-adjusted rate of heart disease deaths increased for the third straight year since 2020.
While the age-adjusted rate of cancer deaths had declined steadily during 1999–2020, the cancer death rate increased in 2021 and 2022.
Further analysis of provisional data might offer additional insights into demographic patterns of leading causes of death.
The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, data are provisional, and numbers and rates might change as additional information is received. Thus, death rates for some groups might be under or overestimated.
The CDC says provisional death estimates can offer researchers and policymakers an early signal about shifts in mortality trends and provide actionable information sooner than the final mortality data, released approximately 11 months after the end of the data year.
These data can guide public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing mortality directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and among persons most affected, including persons who are older, male, or from members of certain racial and ethnic minority groups.