According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 infections and related illnesses were the third leading cause of death in 2020, exceeded only by deaths caused by heart disease and cancer.
COVID-19 was responsible for roughly 345,000 deaths, according to the report, with heart disease causing 690,000 deaths and cancer causing 598,000 deaths.
Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and kidney disease also accounted for many U.S. fatalities.
Researchers said they looked at death certificate data from 2020 alone for adults between the ages of 18 and 84, across all races and ethnicities.
"These findings support the accuracy of COVID-19 mortality surveillance in the United States using official death certificates," the report says.
The overwhelming majority of death certificates that listed COVID-19 as the cause of death included at least one other diagnosis or chain of event condition.
Just 5.5 percent of deaths attributed to COVID-19 occurred to victims with no other coexisting conditions.
As of March 2021, over 551,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in the U.S, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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