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Excess Mortality in Massachusetts During the Delta and Omicron Waves of COVID-19

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced excess deaths, the number of all-cause fatalities exceeding the expected number in any period.1,2 Given reports that the Omicron variant may confer less risk than prior variants, we compared excess mortality in Massachusetts, a highly vaccinated state, during the Delta and initial Omicron periods.3

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: April 27, 2022.

Published Online: May 20, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.8045

Corresponding Author: Jeremy Samuel Faust, MD, MS, 10 Vining St, Boston, MA 02115 (jsfaust@gmail.com).

Author Contributions: Dr Faust had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Faust, Du, Krumholz.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Faust, Mayes, Panthagani.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Faust, Du, Liang, Renton, Krumholz.

Statistical analysis: Faust, Du, Liang, Renton.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Faust, Mayes, Panthagani.

Supervision: Faust.

Data visualization: Panthagani.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Krumholz reported receiving consulting fees from UnitedHealth, Element Science, Aetna, Reality Labs, F-Prime, and Tesseract/4Catalyst; serving as an expert witness for Martin/Baughman law firm, Arnold and Porter law firm, and Siegfried and Jensen law firm; being a cofounder of Hugo Health, a personal health information platform; being a cofounder of Refactor Health, an enterprise health care, artificial intelligence–augmented data management company; receiving contracts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through Yale New Haven Hospital to develop and maintain performance measures that are publicly reported; and receiving grants from Johnson & Johnson outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, Office of Population Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, for assistance with data acquisition; and Zhenqiu Lin, PhD (Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale New Haven Hospital), for statistical support without compensation.

References
1.
Bilinski  A , Emanuel  EJ .  COVID-19 and excess all-cause mortality in the US and 18 comparison countries.   JAMA. 2020;324(20):2100-2102. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20717PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Woolf  SH , Chapman  DA , Sabo  RT , Zimmerman  EB .  Excess deaths from COVID-19 and other causes in the US, March 1, 2020, to January 2, 2021.   JAMA. 2021;325(17):1786-1789. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.5199PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Bhattacharyya  RP , Hanage  WP .  Challenges in inferring intrinsic severity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.   N Engl J Med. 2022;386(7):e14. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2119682PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Broad Institute. Broad COVID dashboard. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://covid-19-sequencing.broadinstitute.org
5.
Rossen  LM , Ahmad  FB , Anderson  RN ,  et al.  Disparities in excess mortality associated with COVID-19—United States, 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(33):1114-1119. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7033a2PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Faust  JS , Krumholz  HM , Du  C ,  et al.  All-cause excess mortality and COVID-19–related mortality among US adults aged 25-44 years, March-July 2020.   JAMA. 2021;325(8):785-787. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.24243PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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