April 22 (UPI) — COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the United States in 2021, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC said 415,000 people died of COVID-19 last year. Only heart disease, with 693,000 deaths, and cancer, at 605,000 deaths, killed more.
The CDC numbers relied on death certificate data.
The virus was also the third-leading cause of death in 2020, but caused 60,000 more deaths in 2021 over 2020.
Researchers analyzed the data, tabulating the number and rates of overall deaths and COVID-19 deaths by age, sex and race and ethnicity.
The death rates from COVID-19 were highest among people ages 85 and older, non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders and Alaskan Native populations.
The overall U.S. death rate increased by 0.7 percent from 2020 to 2021.
As of March 7, at least 6 million people worldwide had died of COVID-19, according to trackers at Johns Hopkins University.
A study released April 8 found vaccinations have prevented 2.2 million deaths in the United States.