For the second year in a row, COVID-19 has been named the third leading underlying cause of death in the United States. In 2021, 60,000 more people died due to COVID-19 than in 2020, with approximately 460,000 individuals losing their lives.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released mortality data analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. population, as well as listing the top causes of death in the country. Heart disease was the leading underlying cause of death in the U.S. in 2021, followed by cancer and COVID-19.
COVID-19 was the underlying cause in 13.3% of U.S. deaths in 2021, according to the CDC. This represents an increase from 2020, when COVID-19 was the underlying cause for 10.4% of deaths.