Beyond Maria: Leading With Science

In late May this year, a collaborative team from Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Carlos Albizu University in Puerto Rico published “Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria” in the New England Journal of Medicine, their study which suggested that the then official Puerto Rican death registry numbers of 64 excess deaths had seriously underestimated the death toll attributable to Hurricane Maria. The paper received wide comment and shone a spotlight on the mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Since then Puerto Rico has updated the official death toll and increased the number of dead significantly.

Statement from the Authors

Today the authors of the NEJM Maria Mortality Study released the following statement:
Multiple independent analyses based on publicly available data have confirmed the high death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Excess deaths continued for months after the hurricane, and largely occurred due to delayed or prevented access to medical care among older people with chronic conditions, and in rural locations.

Beyond Maria: Leading with Science, a Panel on September 21

During the week of the first year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, several of the senior authors of the NEJM paper will discuss the motivation and rationale for the study, the significance of their findings, the impact of their research, and their decision to release all their data and code online.
Sponsored by Harvard FXB, the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the panel will include:

Additional Information

Additional analysis released in early September by Professor Irizary and Harvard doctoral student Roland J. Acosta sheds light on the precarious state of the healthcare system in Puerto Rico and the urgent need to strengthen it, “Post-Hurricane Vital Statistics Expose Fragility of Puerto Rico’s Health System.”

Our article about the original study, which includes links to some of the press at that time: “Study Estimates Prolonged Increase in Puerto Rican Death Rate After Hurricane Maria”
Links to FAQS for that study in English and en Espanol and link to database for anonymized data and analysis

On a different aspect of health in Puerto Rico see the September 20 event at 1PM: The Environmental Legacy of War: Human & Environmental Health Consequences on Vieques, Puerto Rico