A new report identifies Covid-19 as the 3rd leading cause of death for Maine residents in 2021.

What Were the Top 2 Causes of Death?

We all heard the statistics last year and the daily numbers of residents who had died. But it was still surprising to me when I read the Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment Report 2022 and learned that it was so high on the list. The top two causes of death were less of a surprise. Cancer is at number 1 with heart disease right behind it.

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Does the Report Talk About Things Like Average Income and Poverty Levels?

The report broke down the state's statistics, showing that Maine has more residents than the national average who are age 65+, has a lower median household income, and has fewer adults and children who are living in poverty. One concerning factor is that Maine's birth rate is among the lowest in the nation and continues to decline.

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maine.gov/monsitj, ThinkStock
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What Other Health Challenges Were Covered?

A large area of concern is the lack of adequate mental healthcare providers in the state. Two particular areas that the report pointed out are the way the pandemic affected adults who struggled with feeling isolated, as well as young people who were dealing with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. Most people surveyed for the report said they were dealing with long wait times to access the mental health services they required.

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maine.gov/monsitj, ThinkStock
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Substance abuse is another issue challenging the healthcare industry in Maine, with numbers continuing to increase. The abuse of alcohol and drugs can lead to other physical and mental health problems, and so it also affects those statistics. Maine is struggling to keep up with the demand for rehabilitation facilities so even the people who are seeking help are having a hard time accessing it.

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The full report can be found on the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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