Temporal Variation of Excess Deaths from Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Xiaoxin I. Yao, Lefei Han, Yangbo Sun, Daihai He, Shi Zhao, Jinjun Ran

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has persisted for more than two years with the evident excess mortality from diabetes, few studies have investigated its temporal patterns. This study aims to estimate the excess deaths from diabetes in the United States (US) during the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate the excess deaths by spatiotemporal pattern, age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity. Methods: Diabetes as one of multiple causes of death or an underlying cause of death were both considered into analyses. The Poisson log-linear regression model was used to estimate weekly expected counts of deaths during the pandemic with adjustments for long-term trend and seasonality. Excess deaths were measured by the difference between observed and expected death counts, including weekly average excess deaths, excess death rate, and excess risk. We calculated the excess estimates by pandemic wave, US state, and demographic characteristic. Results: From March 2020 to March 2022, deaths that diabetes as one of multiple causes of death and an underlying cause of death were about 47.6 % and 18.4 % higher than the expected. The excess deaths of diabetes had evident temporal patterns with two large percentage increases observed during March 2020, to June 2020, and June 2021 to November 2021. The regional heterogeneity and underlying age and racial/ethnic disparities of the excess deaths were also clearly observed. Conclusions: This study highlighted the increased risks of diabetes mortality, heterogeneous spatiotemporal patterns, and associated demographic disparities during the pandemic. Practical actions are warranted to monitor disease progression, and lessen health disparities in patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Demographic analyses
  • Excess deaths
  • Pandemic waves
  • Temporal pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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