May 24, 2022

Age patterns of COVID-19 mortality by race, ethnicity, gender

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, finds that from the second (November 2020 to February 2021) through the third periods (July to October 2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic, declines in mortality for various racial, ethnic, and gender combinations were especially large for those aged 80 to 84 years and those 85 years or older.

Among the findings:

  • Across all racial, ethnic, and gender groups, there was a shift in age patterns of mortality in the third period.
  • Mortality fell by a higher percentage at older ages than younger ages for all groups.
  • Mortality among Black and White men and women rose for those aged 25 to 54 years from the second period to the third period.
  • Except at 85 years or older in the third period, Black and Hispanic patients had consistently higher mortality rates than White patients.
  • Mortality among men exceeded that of women for every age, racial, and ethnic group at all points.

The rise in mortality rates for young adults underscores the value of increasing vaccination rates in this population, the researchers say.

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