The number of people who die every day in the United States since the beginning of April has been consistently more than 10% higher than in previous years, according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington.
The institute links this increase in daily deaths to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Health Care Cost Institute, an independent nonprofit research organization, based its report on obituary data for all deaths from any cause, not just Covid-19.
To better understand the number of daily deaths that occur in the United States during the pandemic, researchers at the institute compared the daily number of deaths per day this year with the average number of deaths per day for the years since 2014 to 2019. These estimates for daily deaths are reported nationally and state-wide, and for New York City.
New York City, widely regarded as the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, has experienced more than double the typical daily deaths since the end of March, “noted the Health Care Cost Institute on its website.
“In mid-April, we begin to observe a decline in daily deaths in some areas such as New York and New Jersey; daily deaths have continued to increase in other states such as Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland,” said Health Care Cost Institute. “We will continue to monitor these trends and many more as the data is updated weekly.”
The institute’s new data, updated weekly, aggregates information on daily deaths in the United States using obituaries from online newspapers, funeral agencies, online memorials, direct mailings and other sources through a health data system called Datavant.
U.S. health agencies, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tend to rely on death certificate data to track daily deaths.
Despite using a different primary source of death data, the Health Care Cost Institute said it faces results similar to the CDC’s estimates of excess deaths.
“We hope this analysis will serve as a research resource for those seeking to better understand the effect of COVID-19 on all-cause mortality,” said the institute.
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