Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota malnutrition deaths rose during pandemic


March 14, 2023

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Mayo researchers said isolation contributed to the state's malnutrition deaths in the first year of the pandemic.

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.


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