This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.
COVID-19 has left its mark in more ways than the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, deaths, and long-term consequences indicate. While the COVID-19 pandemic is having a direct detrimental effect on public health, the economy, and our social lives, there are many indirect medical consequences as well.
In 2021, the death rate in the United States was the highest it has ever been — especially in the 15-44 age range. While the death rates for cancer, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and stroke rose slightly, deaths from COVID-19 infection and indirect deaths from other conditions due to COVID-19 were the major contributors to this increase. From 2020 to 2021 COVID deaths increased from 351,000 to 415,000, an 11.8% increase. For every 21 deaths from COVID-19 there were another four deaths from other causes that the COVID-19 pandemic was indirectly responsible for, such as chronic disease — especially diabetes, suicide, drug overdose, and homicide.