FARGO — COVID-19 is listed as the third leading cause of death in North Dakota for 2020, the first year the disease caused by the novel coronavirus was reported in the state.

COVID-19 was listed as the cause of death for 1,157 North Dakota residents in 2020, according to provisional figures kept by the North Dakota Division of Vital Records.

“These numbers will remain provisional and likely will change, until the statistical year is closed in mid to late June,” Carmell Barth, deputy registrar, said Friday, Feb. 19.

Heart disease was the leading cause of death in 2020, claiming 1,432 lives, followed by all cancers at 1,307. Alzheimer’s disease was the fourth leading cause of death, responsible for 451 deaths, followed by chronic lung diseases, including asthma, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at 350.

Besides COVID-19, the only other infectious diseases in the leading causes of death were influenza and pneumonia, which ranked ninth with 157 deaths.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Influenza and pneumonia always figure among the leading causes of death in North Dakota and typically rank around eighth, Barth said.

Among other leading causes of death, accidental deaths ranked fifth, 342 deaths, strokes ranked sixth, 312 deaths; diabetes ranked eighth, 188 deaths and suicide ranked 10th, claiming 134 lives.

As of Friday, COVID-19 has claimed 1,435 lives in North Dakota since the pandemic began, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.