Connect with us


COVID deaths fell through 2022, but it still remains the top killer



National Mortality from COVID-19 fell nearly 50% in 2022 from the previous year, a decline that was attributed to widespread vaccination as well as a rise in natural immunity following the first Omicron surge.

There were 244,986 deaths in the US in which COVID-19 was listed as the underlying or contributing cause, a 47% decrease from 462,193 deaths in 2021, according to the report. analysis preliminary death certificate data released Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number does not include residents of US territories and foreign countries.

The first months of 2022 saw the second deadliest surge of COVID-19 as the first wave of Omicron sent out the highly contagious variant, seemingly everywhere in the US. But in the summer and last winter, mortality dropped sharply.

In addition to vaccinations and boosting natural immunity, 2022 also brought widespread availability of COVID therapeutics, such as Paxlovid, an oral drug that greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death when taken by people infected with the coronavirus.

However, with almost a quarter of a million dead in 2022, COVID-19 remains main cause of death – works less so. Last year, the death rate from COVID-19 was seven times higher than the annual rate. influenza deathswhich averaged about 35,000 per year during the decade prior to the pandemic.

Nationwide, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in both 2020 another 2021. It dropped to fourth place last year, behind heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries (a category that remains high due to an elevated number of drug overdose deaths).

COVID-19 great death — now 1.13 million in the US and 6.9 million worldwide — staggering: the death toll in the country exceeds the last global pandemic of this magnitude, although the global figures are much lower. An influenza pandemic that began in 1918 killed an estimated 675,000 people in the United States and at least 50 million people worldwide.

According to the latest analysis released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, deaths from COVID-19 were the highest in the US among people aged 85 and over. In 2022, the death rate in this group was three times that of those aged 75 to 84, and about eight times that of the youngest seniors aged 65 to 74.

Mortality was 50% higher in men than in women.

Of all deaths with any mention of COVID-19 on the death certificate, 76% listed COVID-19 as the underlying cause. This is lower than in 2020 and 2021, when COVID-19 was the leading cause of 90% of deaths when the disease was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate; the rest listed it as one of the causes of death.

Among the deaths where COVID-19 was listed as a contributing factor, the most common underlying causes of death were heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, unintentional injury, diabetes, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

In 2022, the majority of deaths from COVID-19 – 59% – occurred in hospitals. The report says that an increasing number of cases occur at home (15%), in a nursing home or in a long-term care facility (14%).

The analysis also calculated mortality rates for 10 regions designated by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

For the second year in a row, the South has the lowest death rates from COVID-19. The highest rate in both 2021 and 2022 was in the central south region, which covers Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico. In 2022, the rate for this region was 69.3 deaths from COVID-19 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

In second place for both years was the Southeast, defined as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi. The figure there in 2022 was 65.5 deaths from COVID-19 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Close behind was the Midwest—Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota—with 65.1 deaths from COVID-19 for every 100,000 people; and Mid-Atlantic, which represents Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, with 64.9 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 people.

In fifth place were the central Great Plains states of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, with 63.7 deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, just above the national death rate of 61.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Below the national COVID-19 death rate was the New York-New Jersey region, with 57.4 deaths per 100,000 residents. The Southwest, which covers California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii, had the fourth lowest rate, with 53 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents. In the northern Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains states of Colorado, Utah, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming, the COVID-19 death rate was 52.2 per 100,000 residents.

The region with the second-highest COVID-19 death rate in 2022 was the Northwest—Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska—with 50.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. New England had the lowest COVID-19 death rate in 2022, with 49.5 deaths per 100,000 residents.

The South has not always had the highest COVID-19 death rate in the country. In 2020, the New York-New Jersey region led the way, while New England’s death rate was also slightly higher than the national average.

Only in three regions, mortality from COVID-19 was lower than the national average for all three years of the pandemic: South-West; Northwest; and northern Rocky Mountains/northern Great Plains. Conversely, one region had a higher death rate than the nation in each of those years: the central south region, which includes Texas and its neighboring states.

The magnitude of the disparity in COVID-19 deaths across races and ethnic groups decreased in 2022 compared to the previous year, but still persists for many. In general, inequalities across race and ethnicity have been exacerbated during outbreaks of the pandemic, with fewer outbreaks in 2022.

In 2022, Native Americans had a 42% lower COVID-19 death rate than white residents; for Blacks and Pacific Islanders, the figures were 19% and 11% worse, respectively. Hispanic death rates from COVID-19 were about the same as white residents, while Asian American and multiracial groups had lower rates than white residents.

Mortality inequality was larger in 2021. Compared to white residents, the COVID-19 mortality rate for Native Americans and Pacific Islanders was more than 90% higher; Hispanic death rates were 54% higher; and black deaths were 44% higher.

In 2020, compared to white residents, Native Americans had a 157% higher death rate from COVID-19. For Hispanics, the rate was 122% higher; Black residents are 109% higher; and Pacific Islanders, 67% higher.

The death rate from COVID-19 has decreased for all racial and ethnic groups from 2021 to 2022. However, between 2020 and 2021, it rose markedly for white residents, jumping by 42%. They also increased by 59% for multiracial residents and 63% for Pacific Islanders. During the same period, the death rate among Hispanics, Blacks, and Native Americans remained generally at the same, depressingly high level.

The data released in the CDC analysis is considered preliminary and incomplete. The final mortality data for 2022 is expected to be released by the end of this year.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


In coastal Bangladesh, climate change undermines women’s reproductive health



Research published last year by IpasA US-based reproductive justice NGO has found that global warming has exacerbated existing gender inequalities and directly or indirectly affected women’s sexual health, pregnancy outcomes, contraceptive use and fertility intentions in Bangladesh and Mozambique, two climate-sensitive countries.

The report says that during extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change, such as cyclones, access to medical care and contraceptives was limited. The researchers also found that the climate crisis has exacerbated economic instability and added an additional burden to women’s caregiving responsibilities.

In some cases, this could mean women taking on dangerous jobs to provide for their families, says Sally Deikerman, a senior researcher at Ipas who worked on the report.

“You, as a woman, may be forced to roam waist-deep in water where you catch fry to feed your family, and these rivers are not only polluted by cyclones and the destruction of sewer systems, but sea levels are rising, leading to more and more salinization of the water,” she said. “It directly affects their reproductive organs, causing infections, cancer and injury.”

In Sathira, salt water intrusion has cut off access to clean drinking water, Akhter said.

“There is not a drop of fresh water in the whole area,” she said. “It will take two hours to get fresh water.”

Fatima Idris Eva, a health worker in the Shyamnagar city of Sathira, said she had noticed an increase in the number of patients, including men, with sexual or reproductive ailments over the past two years. According to Eva, this includes women reporting irregular periods, discharge, and sores around the uterus.

“The water in different parts of Shyamnagar is extremely salty,” she said in Bengali. “We have a lot of patients coming in who have uterine problems due to drinking salt water. It’s worrisome.”

But the burden on some women may come long before climate-related health problems arise. Poor families may force their daughters to drop out of school to work or decide to marry off their girls at an early age to alleviate financial stress. Akhter said she herself stopped going to school and got married after Cyclone Ayla that hit Bangladesh in 2009 left her parents in a financial crisis.

“This salt water ruined my childhood, school and life,” she said.

Similarly, twelve-year-old Sakila Akhtar had her childhood years stolen to help her family out of poverty. She said that she once dreamed of becoming a politician in order to change the fate of people in her hometown, but now she is the mother of a one and a half year old daughter.

“I wanted to discover the world in different ways and be able to do many things, like crafts, but now I have to work as a day laborer with a child in my arms,” Akhtar said in an interview in Bengali. “My father has nothing. I had to settle down and get married. My husband is also poor.

Sakila Akhtar said she once dreamed of becoming a politician to change the fate of the people in her hometown, but now she is the mother of a one and a half year old daughter.Fabeha Monir for NBC News

Akhtar said she has irregular periods and heavy discharge and her doctor recommended fresh water bathing, but there is none nearby.

Jahanara Begum, 65, remembers when it wasn’t always like this.

“Once there was fresh water here,” she said in Bengali, adding that she now has to travel more than 4 miles to bring drinking water.

Even during the rainy season, households cannot store enough rainwater to last for a long time.

Begum said her husband was ill and she was suffering from uterine cancer and diabetes. Prolonged exposure to brackish water also caused her to itch all over her body.

“I visit doctors and take medication, but there is no solution,” she said. “So many diseases have settled in my body in these few years.”

Women’s reproductive health risks are expected to rise as cyclones and floods become more frequent and intense due to global warming, and as sea levels continue to rise. Studies show that global average sea levels have risen more than 8 inches since 1880, and scientists predict that by 2050 roughly 17% of Bangladesh could be flooded.

“Here everything turns into a cyclone,” said 12-year-old Akhtar. “Here, thinking about the future of people, the storm breaks houses, breaking people’s lives. Here everyone is happy, but everyone is sick.”

Continue Reading


Poem: “Confluence” – Scientific American



Science in meter and verse

This article was originally published as Confluence in Scientific American 328, 5, 24 (May 2023).

doi: 10.1038 / scientific American 0523-24


Marianna Karplus, a geophysicist and associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, was inspired to write poetry during her scientific field trips to the US west, the Himalayas and Antarctica. Her poems have been published in several literary magazines.

Continue Reading


Researchers find narrow window in songbird migration



Migratory songbirds usually fly under the cover of darkness, but the reason for their flight has long eluded researchers. Now, a couple of studies show that birds rely on the onset of twilight and the assumption of clear skies ahead as cues for flight.

The study, published in the journal Movement Ecology, used radio tracking devices and analyzed data from nearly 400 songbirds belonging to nine migratory species, including the yellow-rumped warbler, American redstart and Bicknell’s thrush.

Like most other migratory birds, these species migrate at night, probably to avoid predators, keep cool, and use the daylight hours for feeding. However, the exact reasons why they start their flights when they do so have long been a matter of debate, with some scientists suggesting that they time their sorties to maximize night flight time, or that they rely on celestial objects. such as visible stars, for flight reference.

To try to better understand the timing of birds, the researchers decided to conduct their research where migration begins rather than at stopping points along the way. This allowed them to reduce the impact of variables, such as fuel availability, that could influence the birds’ flight decisions.

The radio data showed a much narrower migration take-off window than expected. ninety percent of the birds identified by the researchers as capable of seasonal migration did so within 69 minutes of dusk.

“It’s a very narrow window, which suggests there’s something important going on at this time of night,” said Nathan Cooper, a research ecologist at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Institute for Conservation Biology and the paper’s first author. news release. “And we argue that this constant early-night departure time is related to the maximum increase in night flight time.”

Second analysis disclosed that migratory songbirds are good meteorologists. When the researchers took a closer look at the four species, they found that the likelihood of departure was “associated with changes in barometric pressure, almost entirely independent of species, season, or location.” They are likely to depart when the barometric pressure has risen in the previous 24 hours, indicating good weather in the coming days.

However, the weather is likely just one of many factors driving the birds to migrate, the researchers say, citing other sources. research this suggests that the timing of migration also depends on sex, age, and celestial signals.

Continue Reading