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CDC: Death certificates declare homicides, suicides and missing persons as Covid deaths

During 2020, 378,048 deaths in the US were attributed to Covid-19 on death certificates reported to CDC. Because the registration model was questioned and it was hypothesised that some deaths were being misattributed to Covid-19, the certificates were reviewed.

The report includes the distribution of the total number of death certificates with Covid diagnosis by the category ” Manners of death “. In addition to the “Natural” form of death (which includes the vast majority), 2 080 “accidental”, 68 “Undetermined”, 32 “homicides”, 61 “self-inflicted” and 31 448 “missing” are considered.

Of the 378,048 death certificates from 2020 that referenced Covid-19, 5.5% had no codes for other conditions

Around 18% of death certificates had only one significant co-occurring contributory disease. This was most frequent on certificates indicating that the death occurred at home (38.3%), in a nursing home or long-term care centre (38.5%), or in a palliative care centre (23.2%).

Of the 357,133 death certificates with at least one other diagnosis, 97.3% had another co-occurring diagnosis:

  • A condition associated with a plausible chain of events (e.g. pneumonia, respiratory failure, adult respiratory distress syndrome, cardiac arrest, or sepsis);
  • A condition with a significant contributing condition (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, dementia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Or both

The most frequent diagnostic codes in the chain of events were:

  • Pneumonia, unspecified – 45%.
  • Acute respiratory failure – 20%.

The most frequent significant contribution codes were:

  • Hipertensão – 18%
  • Diabetes – 10%

The analysis was conducted on death certificates that occurred during the calendar year 2020 and were reported to the CDC by 22 February 2021.

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