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Excess Deaths and the Great Pandemic of 2020

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Two new reports in JAMA provide updated estimates regarding the mortality associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the US. In a research letter by Woolf and colleagues, the authors update their analysis of the number of “excess” deaths in the US related to COVID-19 and other causes from March 1 through August 1, 2020.1,2 The authors report that during this 5-month period, a total of 1 336 561 deaths occurred in the US, an estimated 20% increase compared with the number of expected deaths, and representing 225 530 excess deaths.2 Approximately 67% of these excess deaths were attributable directly to COVID-19, whereas excess deaths attributed to other causes also could have been related to the pandemic in general.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Howard Bauchner, MD, JAMA (Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org).

Published Online: October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20016

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Woolf  SH , Chapman  DA , Sabo  RT , Weinberger  DM , Hill  L .  Excess deaths from COVID-19 and other causes, March-April 2020.   JAMA. 2020;324(5):510-513. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11787PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Woolf  SH , Chapman  DA , Sabo  RT ,  et al.  Excess deaths from COVID-19 and other causes, March-July 2020.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19545Google Scholar
3.
Bilinski  A , Emanuel  EJ .  COVID-19 and excess all-cause mortality in the US and 18 comparison countries.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20717Google Scholar
4.
Simon  NM , Saxe  GN , Marmar  CR .  Mental health disorders related to COVID-19–related deaths.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19632Google Scholar
5.
Cooper  LA , Williams  DR .  Excess deaths from COVID-19, community bereavement, and restorative justice for communities of color.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19567Google Scholar
6.
Wadhera  RK , Wadhera  P , Gaba  P ,  et al.  Variation in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths across New York City boroughs.   JAMA. 2020;323(21):2192-2195. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7197PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
7.
Cutler  DM , Summers  LH .  The COVID-19 pandemic and the $16 trillion virus.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19759Google Scholar
8.
Fineberg  HV .  The toll of COVID-19.   JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20019Google Scholar
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