SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death for adults in the U.S. in 2021, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists found that during a 20-month study period, COVID-19 accounted for one in eight deaths among people ages 45-54.

Heart disease was the number one cause of death, followed by cancer.

Researchers also found that the pandemic also had an indirect effect on other causes of death such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Experts said people may have been more hesitant to seek medical care.