spring_banner.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
COVID-19

COVID-19 Third Leading Cause Of Death In Montana In 2020

A transmission electron microscopic image of the coronavirus from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV.
CDC/Public Domain
/
A transmission electron microscopic image of the coronavirus from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV.

A new report from the Montana state health department lists COVID-19 as the third leading cause of death in Montana last year after heart disease and cancer.

State health officials say the COVID-19 pandemic was the main reason for a 14% increase in the state’s overall death rate compared with the previous 5-year average. According to provisional data, 2020 was the first year since 1908 that the number of deaths in Montana exceeded the number of births in the state.

The report says deaths from chronic liver disease and alcohol were much higher last year compared to the previous five year average, and the number of homicides increased by 60%. Researchers say more information is needed to determine what factors led to the increase. Deaths from drug poisonings and suicide remained about the same.

The number of deaths from chronic lower respiratory disease, influenza and pneumonia were significantly lower last year than the previous five year average in Montana. Health officials point to efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 like handwashing and staying home when sick.

Data for the report came from death certificates collected by the Montana Office of Vital Records and were limited to Montana residents.