**FILE** Courtesy of covidlink.maryland.gov

The coronavirus was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to federal data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed that only heart disease and cancer caused more U.S. deaths in 2021, CNN reported.

The overall age-adjusted death rate for all causes was about 1% higher in 2021 than in 2020, but the death rate from the coronavirus increased by almost 20%.

More than one in eight deaths in 2021 was coronavirus-related, up from one in 10 deaths in 2020. Plus, more than 415,000 people died from the coronavirus last year but nearly 605,000 died from cancer and about 693,000 died from heart disease, the CDC reported.

The 2021 demographic patterns were similar to 2020, with overall deaths rates highest for Blacks, Native Americans, and Alaska natives. Nearly 13% of all coronavirus deaths were among Blacks in 2021, down from 16% in 2020.

Likewise, 16.5% of virus deaths were among Latinos in 2021, down from 19% in 2020. Whites, however, increased from about 60% of coronavirus deaths in 2020 to more than 65% in 2021, the CDC reported.

Additionally, in 2021, the 85 and older age group had the highest death rates due to the coronavirus but were lower than they were in 2020. For the other age groups, coronavirus deaths were higher in 2021 than in 2020.

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