(Editor’s note: This is the third in stories about the Coronavirus.)
On Saturday, L.A. County Department of Public Health, released the following statement about the 265 deaths attributed to the coronavirus: “Eighty three percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 201 people; 32% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 32% among White residents, 20% among Asian residents, 13% among African American residents, and 3% among residents identifying with other races.” That means that of the 265 deaths in L.A. County, 219 of the people had underlying conditions.
In Minnesota as of April 12, the total death count from coronavirus was 70, the age range of those who have died was 55-100 years old and the median age was 88. The state has a population of 5.6 million.
In New York (population 19.54 million, including 8.623 million in New York City), there have been 9,385 deaths. It was reported (as of April 11) that 88 percent of that group [8,257] had at least one comorbiditity (chronic disease). (https://covid19tracker.health.ny.gov/views/NYS-COVID19-Tracker/NYSDOHCOVID-19Tracker-Fatalities?%3Aembed=yes&%3Atoolbar=no&%3Atabs=n)
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with underlying health conditions or seniors are more likely to die from this virus.
An April 7 Rockland/Westchester Journal News story reported that “The majority of New York’s more than 4,700 deaths due to coronavirus were among men, and 86 percent of all deaths were among people who had underlying illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes, new state data shows.
“And 4,089 of those who died had at least one other chronic disease, the records showed: The leading underlying illness was hypertension, which showed up in 55% of the deaths and next was diabetes, which was diagnosed in 1,755 deaths, or about 37% of the cases.
“Other top illnesses (or underlying conditions) found in those who died from coronavirus were hyperlipidemia; coronary artery disease; renal disease and dementia.”
The CDC website states that people of all ages with underlying medical conditions may be more at risk – particularly if the conditions are not under control. They list the following conditions:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised
- Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
On April 7, Los Angeles County health officials released data showing that black residents were dying at a slightly higher rate than other races.
The L.A. Times reported on April 8 (“Black People Are Disproportionately Hit Hard by Coronavirus. L.A. County Is Taking Action”) that “Nationwide, states have started releasing data that show stark disparities between black and white victims of the coronavirus infection.
“The higher death rates from COVID-19 in Black communities is sadly, not surprising,” said Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. “. . .With COVID-19, the higher rates of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney failure among African-Americans help explain the higher rates of death from the disease among Black Americans.”