NATIONAL (WCIA) — In a news release posted on Friday, health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2021.

According to a health report that provides an overview of provisional U.S. mortality data for 2021, including a comparison of death rates for all causes of death and for deaths involving COVID-19, the overall age-adjusted death rate increased by almost 1% in 2021 from 2020. It shows that in 2021, overall death rates were highest among American Indians, Alaskan Natives and African Americans. The report also shows that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, in 2021.

Another report from the CDC reveals that from 2020 to 2021, differences in COVID-19 death rates decreased among most racial and ethnic groups. This report found disparities in the age-adjusted COVID-19 death rates decreased by 14%–40% for most racial and ethnic groups, including White people, who accounted for 60%–65% of all people who died; and increased non-significantly (7.2%) for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander persons (0.2%–0.3% of people who died) compared with multiracial people.