New publication: “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on temporal patterns of mental health and substance abuse related mortality in Michigan: An interrupted time series analysis” (Lancet Regional Health – Americas)

Great news! I published a new paper today (yay!) with my colleague Dr. Rachel Bergmans from the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan. It appears in one of the Lancet journals (Regional Health – Americas) and describes how patterns of suicide, alcohol related liver failure and drug overdoses changed at the onset of the pandemic. (Spoiler: suicides declined after following an increasing trend, liver failure went WAY up over past years, overdoses got weird.)

I’m intensely proud of this work. Mental health related public health research is my favorite topic of study (hello darkness my old friend) and it was amazing to be able to bring these results to the public.

Figure legend: Figure 1. Cumulative mortality for all days in all years, 2006–2020. Bold, red line represents cumulative mortality in 2020. Cumulative mortality plots presented for mortality from all causes: suicide, alcohol related liver failure, and drug overdose. Red vertical line represents the date of the announcement of the State of Emergency order (March 13, 2020) and the beginning of the pandemic in Michigan. Blue line represents the date of the first peak of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan (April 16, 2020).

Summary

Background

The emergence of SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) had wide impacts to health and mortality and prompted unprecedented containment efforts. The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting responses on mental health and substance abuse related mortality are unknown.

Methods

We obtained records for deaths from suicide, alcohol related liver failure, and overdose from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for 2006 to 2020. We compared mortality within sex, age, marital, racial and urban/rural groups using basic statistical methods. We compared standardized mean daily mortality incidence before and after the onset of the pandemic using t-tests. We used an interrupted time series approach, using generalized additive Poisson regression models with smoothed components for time to assess differences in mortality trends before and after the onset of the pandemic within demographic groups.

Findings

There were 19,365 suicides, 8,790 deaths from alcohol related liver failure, and 21,778 fatal drug overdoses. Compared with 2019, suicides in 2020 declined by 17.6%, overdose mortality declined by 22.5%—while alcohol deaths increased by 12.4%. Crude comparisons suggested that there were significant declines in suicides for white people, people 18 to 65 and increases for rural decedents, overdoses increased for Black people, females and married/widowed people, and alcohol mortality increased for nearly all groups. ITS models, however, suggested increased suicide mortality for rural residents, significantly increased alcohol related mortality for people ≥65 and increased overdose mortality in men.

Interpretation

The onset of the pandemic was associated with mixed patterns of mortality between suicide, alcohol and overdose deaths. Patterns varied within demographic groups, suggesting that impacts varied among different groups, particularly racial and marital groups.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

One response to “New publication: “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on temporal patterns of mental health and substance abuse related mortality in Michigan: An interrupted time series analysis” (Lancet Regional Health – Americas)”

  1. Veselina Dzhingarova says :

    Request for advertising on -peterslarson.com
    Hey There,

    I really like your blog- and if you are agreeable, I’d like to include it in a database of websites I sent to my clients looking for guest posting opportunities.

    However, I would need a bit more information from you first!

    1. What is your editorial fee to post an article ?
    2. What types of links are acceptable? Do-follow or no-follow ?
    3. Are you OK with adult/gambling/marijuana links?
    4.Do you add disclosures/sponsored tags or you can avoid this?

    I will send payment via PayPal or another payment provider by special agreement.

    In addition, if you manage any other websites I might be interested in – any language or niche – please send me the details, as above.

    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Kind Regards,
    Veselina Dzhingarova

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: