PODCAST: The 2020 Increase in Death Rates Were The Highest Ever Recorded

June 11, 2021

STATCAST, JUNE 2021: DISCUSSION WITH FARIDA AHMAD, STATISTICIAN, ABOUT LATEST PROVISIONAL QUARTERLY MORTALITY DATA.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/podcasts/2021/20210611/20210611.htm

podcast-iconHOST:  Each quarter NCHS releases provisional data on mortality from leading causes of death in the U.S. on an interactive web-based dashboard.   This week the dashboard was updated to include Quarter 4 data from 2020 and gives a complete account of provisional death rates in the U.S. for the year.  Joining us to discuss some of the key findings is Farida Ahmad of the Division of Vital Statistics.

HOST: First question: how much did the death rate in the U.S. increase in 2020?

FARIDA AHMAD:  The death rate for the U.S. increased by about 16% in 2020 compared to 2019-

HOST:  Now is it safe to say that almost all of the increase can be attributed to COVID-19.

FARIDA AHMAD:  A large part of it, yes, but we also saw increases in other causes of death like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.  Unintentional injuries like drug overdose also increased throughout 2020.  This report only includes drug overdose rates for the first half of the year but you do see very large increases in the second quarter of 2020.

HOST:  Some say that certain causes of death like influenza and pneumonia declined in 2020 due to COVID – is that true?

FARIDA AHMAD:  No, not really – that’s due to influenza and pneumonia were actually higher in 2020 than in 2019.  That’s likely driven by the pneumonia more so than influenza though.

HOST:  Is there any sense whether some of those pneumonia deaths are miscategorized, that maybe they should be in the COVID category?

FARIDA AHMAD:  Yes, you know it’s definitely possible.  We don’t have hard numbers on that and to account for maybe miscategorized COVID deaths we would we would look at excess mortality.  So a different kind of measure to look at that.

HOST:  I guess then the same would be true for other causes of death, particularly those that occur at the very beginning of 2020.  Is there any chance there will be more COVID deaths added to the tally?

FARIDA AHMAD:  It’s certainly possible but we haven’t closed out the 2020 data year.  So we could still get additional changes but we don’t anticipate a significant number of deaths data will change.

HOST:  So the data aren’t final yet is that correct?

FARIDA AHMAD:   Yes that’s correct.

HOST:   So what are some of the more striking changes you saw in the death rates from 2019 to 2020 as far as certain leading causes go?

FARIDA AHMAD:  Diabetes deaths increased by almost 14%… Chronic liver disease increased by 17% … and then hypertension and Parkinson disease those increased by 12% and 11% respectively.

HOST:  So in a normal year those would be considered very large increases is that correct?

FARIDA AHMAD:  Yes, yeah shifts that large would be notable.

HOST: But there’s no way to sort of link that back to the pandemic, either directly or indirectly?

FARIDA AHMAD:   Not with the death certificate data that we have, unless these deaths – you know these deaths which were the underlying cause is what we’re looking at.  For these deaths COVID-19 might also be listed on the death certificate, in which case you could say that COVID-19 played a role in that death but otherwise we wouldn’t necessarily know if it was a direct or indirect cause of the pandemic in terms of disrupted access to healthcare or other contributing factors.  The death certificate data wouldn’t necessarily tell us that.

HOST: So in general 2020 was a very rough year for mortality but were there any declines in leading causes of death in 2020?

FARIDA AHMAD:  There were a few – there were declines in cancer, in chronic lower respiratory diseases, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids>

HOST: Did the pandemic – did COVID-19 — have any impact on death rates at the state level?  Were there any unusual changes in 2020?

FARIDA AHMAD:  West Virginia and Mississippi had the highest death rates overall, but the largest increases in death rates were actually seen in New York and New Jersey.

HOST:  Is there anything else in this new data that you’d like to note?

FARIDA AHMAD: What this report allows us to look at is not just the deaths due to COVID-19, which have been understandably a huge focus of public health surveillance in last year, but with this report we get to look at some of the other leading causes of death that might not be in the top five, or the top ten, but these are issues of public health importance and concern.  To look at these various diseases and causes of death, so I think that’s really what this report adds is to be able to take a broader look.

MUSICAL BRIDGE:

HOST: Our thanks to Farida Ahmad for joining us on this edition of “Statcast.”

HOST:  On Wednesday of this week, NCHS also released a new report on screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.  The study featured data on women age 45 and over from the National Health Interview Survey, and concluded that regular cancer screening is much more likely among women of higher socio-economic status, as well as women who are married or living with a partner, and women who engage in healthy behaviors — such as not smoking, regularly exercising, and getting a flu shot.


Influenza Vaccination in the Past 12 Months Among Children Aged 6 Months–17 Years: United States, 2019

April 15, 2021

21-323150-visual-abstract-db407-child-flu-vacQuestions for Lindsey Black, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Influenza Vaccination in the Past 12 Months Among Children Aged 6 Months–17 Years: United States, 2019.”

Q: Is this the most recent data you have on this topic?  If so, when will you release 2020 vaccination data?

LB: Yes, this is the most recent data. 2020 data will be released in the fall of 2021.


Q: Do you have influenza vaccination data for adults?

LB: Yes, some information on adults is available in the interactive summary health statistics for adults, located at : https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs.htm


Q: Do you have trend data that goes further back than 2019?

LB: Influenza vaccination has been collected as part of the sample child on NHIS since about 2005. However, in 2019, there were significant changes to the survey and we have not yet evaluated how that may result in a break in the trend, or the appropriateness of assessing trends across survey period (2019 vs earlier than 2019).


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

LB: I found it surprising that the amount of regional differences observed. It is so interesting that starting at the East South Central states, and moving North, we see a gradual improvement to 65.3% of children lving in New England that had a vaccination.


Q: Where can I get COVID vaccination data?  Will this be included in future NHIS data?

NHIS began collecting that and it will be included in the 2021 data release in the fall of 2022. In the meantime, Covid-19 vaccinations in the United States provided by CDC are located at:  https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations


NCHS UPDATES”STATS OF THE STATES” PAGE WITH LATEST FINAL DATA

March 26, 2021

SOS_Nav_Page

The CDC National Center for Health Statistics web page “Stats of the States” has been updated to include the latest state-based final data on selected vital statistics topics, including:

  • General fertility rates
  • Teen birth rates
  • Selected other maternal and infant health measures
  • Marriage & divorce rates
  • Leading causes of death
  • Other high profile causes of death.

The site’s map pages allow users to rank states from highest to lowest or vice versa.  This latest version of “Stats of the States” also includes two new topics:  Life expectancy by state and COVID-19 death rates by state (provisional data on a quarterly basis, through Q3 of 2020).  All death rates are adjusted for age.  Rates are featured in the maps because they best illustrate the impact of a specific measure on a particular state.

The main “Stats of the States” page can be accessed at:  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/stats_of_the_states.htm


QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Influenza and Pneumonia, by Urbanization Level and Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2019

March 26, 2021

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In 2019, age-adjusted death rates for influenza and pneumonia were higher among males (14.4 per 100,000) than females (10.7) and among those who lived in rural counties (15.3) compared with those who lived in urban counties (11.7).

Among males, the age-adjusted death rate for influenza and pneumonia was 17.4 in rural counties and 13.9 in urban counties.

Among females, the age-adjusted death rate for influenza and pneumonia was 13.6 in rural counties and 10.2 in urban counties.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality file. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7012a5.htm


QuickStats: Percentage of Emergency Department (ED) Visits Made by Adults with Influenza and Pneumonia That Resulted in Hospital Admission, by Age Group

December 11, 2020

During 2017–2018, 37.2% of ED visits for influenza and pneumonia by adults aged 18 years or older resulted in a hospital admission.

The percentage increased with age from 14.4% for adults aged 18–54 years to 46.9% for adults aged 55–74 years and 69.7% for adults aged 75 years or older.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2017–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/ ahcd_questionnaires.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6949a6.htm


Fact or Fiction – Are Flu and pneumonia are responsible for 57,000 deaths in the United States each year?

March 17, 2020

Source: National Vital Statistics System, 1999-2018

https://wonder.cdc.gov 


2017 Final Deaths, Leading Causes of Death and Life Tables Reports Released

June 24, 2019

NCHS released a report that presents the final 2017 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends, by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin and race, state of residence, and cause of death.

Key Findings:

  • In 2017, a total of 2,813,503 deaths were reported in the United States.
  • The age-adjusted death rate was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, an increase of 0.4% from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy decreased from 2016 to 2017 for non-Hispanic white males (0.1 year) and non-Hispanic black males (0.1), and increased for non-Hispanic black females (0.1).
  • Age-specific death rates increased in 2017 from 2016 for age groups 25–34, 35–44, and 85 and over, and decreased for age groups under 1 and 45–54.
  • The 15 leading causes of death in 2017 remained the same as in 2016 although, two causes exchanged ranks.
  • Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, the 12th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 11th leading cause of death in 2017, while Septicemia, the 11th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 12th leading cause of death in 2017.
  • The infant mortality rate, 5.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017, did not change significantly from the rate of 5.87 in 2016.

NCHS also released the 2017 U.S. Life Tables and Leading Causes of Death Reports.


QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18–64 Years Who Had an Influenza Vaccination† in the Past 12 Months, by Sex and Current Asthma Status

January 18, 2019

In 2017, adults aged 18–64 years with current asthma were more likely to have had an influenza vaccination in the past 12 months (47.9%) than those without asthma (36.4%).

Regardless of asthma status, women were more likely than men to have had an influenza vaccination in the past 12 months.

Women aged 18–64 years with current asthma (51.3%) were more likely to have had an influenza vaccination than men with current asthma in this age group (41.6%).

Among adults aged 18–64 years without asthma, women also were more likely to have had an influenza vaccination (40.0%) than were men (32.8%).

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2017.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6802a7.htm


QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentage of Adults Aged 65 Years or Older Who Had an Influenza Vaccine in the Past 12 Months, by Poverty Status — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 1999–2001 and 2014–2016

February 26, 2018

During 2014–2016, 69.2% of all older adults, aged 65 years or older, had received an influenza vaccine in the past 12 months.

The percentage of older adults with family income ≥200% poverty level who had received an influenza vaccine in the past 12 months significantly increased from 67.9% during 1999–2001 to 72.2% during 2014–2016.

During the same period, the changes from 55.7% to 60.8% among those at the <100% poverty level and from 60.3% to 62.9% for those at the 100% to <200% poverty level were not statistically significant.

During both periods, older adults with income ≥200% poverty level were significantly more likely to receive an influenza vaccine compared with those with lower family income.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 1999–2016

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6707a8.htm


Stat of the Day – December 5, 2017

December 5, 2017