NEW YORK (PIX11)– In a 20-month stretch, COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

From March 2020 to October 2021, 350,000 people died from the virus. Heart disease and cancer were first and second, respectively, and accounted for 1.29 million American deaths, researchers said. Accidents and strokes round out the top five.

In 2021, COVID-19 was the first or second cause of death for people 35-45, said the institute.

The pandemic may have also had adverse effects on other health issues. Researchers found deaths from heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes increased from 2019-2020, likely because patients did not seek medical attention during the pandemic, the NCI said.