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Abstract Background In 2020, Mexico experienced one of the highest rates of excess mortality globally. However, the extent of non-COVID deaths on excess mortality, its regional distribution and the association between socio-demographic inequalities have not been characterized. Methods We conducted a retrospective municipal and individual-level study using 1 069 174 death certificates to analyse COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 deaths classified by ICD-10 codes. Excess mortality was estimated as the increase in cause-specific mortality in 2020 compared with the average of 2015–2019, disaggregated by primary cause of death, death setting (in-hospital and out-of-hospital) and geographical location. Correlates of individual and municipal non-COVID-19 mortality were assessed using mixed effects logistic regression and negative binomial regression models, respectively. Results We identified a 51% higher mortality rate (276.11 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants) compared with the 2015–2019 average period, largely attributable to COVID-19. Non-COVID-19 causes comprised one-fifth of excess deaths, with acute myocardial infarction and type 2 diabetes as the two leading non-COVID-19 causes of excess mortality. COVID-19 deaths occurred primarily in-hospital, whereas excess non-COVID-19 deaths occurred in out-of-hospital settings. Municipal-level predictors of non-COVID-19 excess mortality included levels of social security coverage, higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and social marginalization. At the individual level, lower educational attainment, blue-collar employment and lack of medical care assistance prior to death were associated with non-COVID-19 deaths. Conclusion Non-COVID-19 causes of death, largely chronic cardiometabolic conditions, comprised up to one-fifth of excess deaths in Mexico during 2020. Non-COVID-19 excess deaths occurred disproportionately out-of-hospital and were associated with both individual- and municipal-level socio-demographic inequalities.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Epidemiology


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date