Wednesday, April 7, 2021

U.S. Deaths by Suicide, 2020: Not Increased

From epidemiologist Elizabeth Jacobs, reporting CDC data up through 2020:

Politicians told us repeatedly that lockdowns were causing increased numbers of deaths by suicide. We kept asking to see the data. Now, we have it, and apparently, this was not true. In 2020, deaths by suicide were lower than in the previous three years:

(click to enlarge)

There are many interesting trends visible across the years in that table: the startling stability of the cancer deaths, but clear increases Alzheimers, stroke, and heart disease, with possible hidden COVID deaths under both in 2020. It's also possible there are hidden suicides in the unintentional injuries column. 

It's understandable that influenza and pneumonia are combined in one line, since in most years they are related, but it's unfortunate in this year, since we know there were almost no cases of influenza. So the relatively constant number of deaths from pneumonia in 2020 must be from some other cause... such as COVID, perhaps?

The full article from JAMA is here.

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