Minnesota malnutrition deaths rose during pandemic
March 14, 2023
Deaths from malnutrition are rare in Minnesota, but they increased in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic - primarily among women 85 and older living alone in rural areas.
The unexpected finding was part of a broader Mayo Clinic analysis of final death certificate data in 2020, when 10% of the state's 52,030 deaths were caused by COVID-19.
Social-distancing measures in Minnesota might have prevented hundreds or thousands of COVID-19 deaths, Mayo researchers said, but the resulting isolation contributed to the state's 123 malnutrition deaths that year. The state had averaged about 80 malnutrition deaths in the prior two years.