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US mortality continues to worsen when compared with other rich nations, study finds

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 04 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2034
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The US could have averted more than a million deaths each year in 2020 and 2021 if death rates were similar to those in other rich countries during the covid-19 pandemic, a study has shown.

Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and other US institutions examined how many US deaths could have been avoided each year from 1933 to 2021 if US age specific mortality had been the same as the average in 21 other rich countries. Their results, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nexus,1 show that US death rates have been worsening since the 1980s, with the greatest losses during the pandemic.

Excess deaths in the US are often referred to as “missing Americans.”

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