Lack of health coverage may have led to 22,000 unnecessary deaths in the United States in 2006.

Researchers at the Urban Institute, Washington, came up with that estimate by applying methods from the Institute of Medicine, Washington, to Census Bureau estimates of the size of the uninsured population.

If the IOM model estimates are accurate, lack of coverage may have resulted in about 137,000 unnecessary deaths between 2000 and 2006, the researchers write in a report on their work.