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CNN- Researchers continue to examine the effects of the pandemic in 2020, before the widespread distribution of vaccines that helped keep those infected out of hospitals.
Not only did adults ages 65 and older see higher rates of excess deaths last yet compared with other age groups, according to new research, but significant racial disparities were found as well.
Among adults 65 and older, the highest rates of excess deaths were in Black and Hispanic people, according to a new study published by the CDC on Thursday. Among people younger than 65, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native people had the highest rates compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
The findings “have been driven, in part, by factors such as occupational risk, socioeconomic factors, housing conditions, reduced access to health care, and discrimination,” the researchers from the US National Center for Health Statistics, Yale University and Harvard Medical School wrote in their new study.
The researchers analyzed data from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System on the weekly number of deaths from all causes and Covid-19 that occurred between December 29, 2019, and January 2, 2021. The researchers examined population estimates from the US Census Bureau for previous years, from 2015 to 2019, to model how many deaths would normally be expected through the year 2020.
“The resulting weekly expected numbers of deaths were subtracted from the observed numbers of deaths to generate estimates of excess deaths,” the researchers wrote.
In the data, they identified racial disparities across all age groups when it came to rates of excess deaths. Overall, they wrote that “these findings could help guide more tailored public health messaging and mitigation efforts to reduce disparities in mortality associated with the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, by identifying the racial/ethnic groups and age groups with the highest excess mortality rates.”