Non-COVID-19 excess deaths by age and gender in the United States during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Public Health. 2020 Dec;189:101-103. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2020.10.004. Epub 2020 Oct 10.


Objectives: The first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems, creating an environment by which deaths have occurred that are not directly due to COVID-19, but have occurred owing to the healthcare and societal environment resulting from COVID-19. The objective of this research is to quantify such excess deaths, partitioned by age group and gender.

Study design: This is a data analysis.

Methods: Excess deaths by age and gender are estimated using provisional death data available from the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) over the time period from March 1, 2020 through May 30, 2020. Previous year fatality and population data are used as the benchmark.

Results: Several of the eighteen age and gender cohorts experienced statistically significant excess deaths. The results also indicate that COVID-19 has been protective for one of the age and gender cohorts.

Conclusions: There have been more excess deaths in several age group and gender cohorts during the first three months of the pandemic, beyond direct deaths directly attributable to COVID-19. These non-COVID-19 excess deaths are most apparent in the 25- to 44-year age group for women and 15- to 54-year age group for men. Further research is needed to assess the cause of such excess deaths and introduce safeguards to reduce such deaths in the future.

Keywords: COVID-19; Fatality risk; Statistics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult