Early provisional estimates of drug overdose, suicide, and transportation-related deaths: Nowcasting methods to account for reporting lags
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Early provisional estimates of drug overdose, suicide, and transportation-related deaths: Nowcasting methods to account for reporting lags

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  • English

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      Objective—To describe nowcasting methods to generate provisional estimates of drug overdose, suicide, and transportation-related deaths.

      Methods—Deaths due to drug overdose, suicide, and transportation were identified using International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision underlying cause-of-death codes. Using a multi-stage hierarchical Bayesian modeling process, models were fit to predict weekly counts of deaths under different assumptions about how timeliness of provisional data has changed in 2020 relative to 2019. Model performance was evaluated by fitting models using provisional data from May 2020 and comparing the predicted counts with the reported provisional counts that became available 6—11 months later. Hierarchical Bayesian models were then fit to estimate the trends in deaths due to the three causes from early 2016 through October 24, 2020.

      Results—On average, predicted counts assuming jurisdiction-specific improvements in timeliness since 2019 were within 5% of the eventual reported counts for the United States through April 5, 2020. The accuracy of the predicted counts varied depending on assumptions about how timeliness has changed. Predicted weekly numbers

      of drug overdose deaths increased from early 2020 through May 2020,

      then plateaued or declined from June through late October. Predicted weekly numbers of suicide deaths were similar to historic levels in early 2020, then declined from March through June, and were similar to historic levels through late October. Predicted weekly numbers of transportation-related deaths were similar to historic levels in early 2020, then declined from March through April, and subsequently increased.

      Conclusion—The nowcasting models for the three causes of death used in this evaluation provided good agreement with observed estimates through early April 2020. These methods can be

      used to provide preliminary estimates for recent time periods, which are important to understand the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic on injury-related causes of death.

      Suggested citation: Rossen LM, Hedegaard H, Warner M, Ahmad FB, Sutton PD. Early provisional estimates of drug overdose, suicide, and transportation-related deaths: Nowcasting methods to account for reporting lags. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 11. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. February 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15620/ cdc:101132.

      CS322289

      vsrr011-508.pdf

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