More Younger Adults Than The Aged Died From COVID-19 In the United States

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In the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was seen that it was mostly the aged that were at a higher risk of mortality upon contracting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Hence many of the elderly perished in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 especially in the United States and Europe.

The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Annals of Internal Medicine.
https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M22-2226

In the United States, 20.8% more COVID-19–involved deaths were reported in the first 10 months of the pandemic compared with a seasonally matched interval in the pandemic’s second year. Despite this, 7.4% more years of life were lost in the second pandemic year during that interval due to a 35.7% increase in YLL per COVID-19 death.

Further investigation should determine the extent to which this downward age shift in COVID-19 mortality is attributable to high early-pandemic COVID-19 death rates among older adults (for example, involving nursing homes and long-term care facilities), relatively higher vaccine coverage and adherence with nonpharmaceutical interventions among older versus younger adults later in the pandemic, age-related risk differences associated with coronavirus variant viruses, or other mechanisms.

Understanding this shift in COVID-19 mortality dynamics could inform prevention and treatment approaches, public policy development, and community measures to minimize future effects of COVID-19.

Analysis of YLL reveals additional changes among the leading causes of U.S. death. The YLL and deaths due to Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases both decreased, perhaps due to early-pandemic increased incidence of each due to misattribution of COVID-19 deaths when there was limited testing and considerable COVID-19–related missed medical care.

Conversely, YLL and deaths due to unintentional injuries increased considerably, owing in part to record-high drug overdose deaths, up 15% (nearly 14 000 deaths) in 2021 compared with 2020 (5).

Strengths of this analysis include use of national mortality data and age-specific projected standard life expectancies to estimate YLL. Limitations include provisional 2021 deaths, which are subject to reporting lags. Importantly, the YLL metric compares a person’s life expectancy with their age at the time of their death and should not be used as a measure of a person’s potential contributions to society.

In conclusion, a shift in COVID-19 mortality to relatively younger people in the second pandemic year contributed to markedl

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