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Common conditions that can contribute to COVID-19 deaths

  • Common conditions contributing to COVID-19 deaths

    The coronavirus death toll in the United States surpassed 200,000 on Sept. 22, which the Associated Press equated to a "9/11 attack every day for 67 days."

    Many of these deaths have involved COVID-19 and at least one other condition, which is called a comorbidity. In some cases, coronavirus directly causes comorbid conditions like pneumonia or sepsis. Other comorbid conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are preexisting, but may complicate a patient’s reaction to COVID-19 and cause them to suffer a more serious outcome. The Centers for Disease Control has found that in as many as 94% of COVID-19-caused deaths, individuals also had a contributing comorbidity.

    Stacker analyzed a National Center for Health Statistics dataset on conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus disease to examine common conditions that may contribute to COVID-19 deaths. The deaths tabulated in this dataset include Americans who had confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one or more other diseases or health conditions at the time of death. This story includes the deaths associated with COVID-19 and 21 common conditions from Feb. 1 to Aug. 15, 2020.

    Keep reading to find out which common conditions can most contribute to COVID-19 fatalities.

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  • #21. Respiratory arrest: Overall

    - Deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition: 12,115

    Respiratory arrest is any event where a person either can’t breathe or can’t breathe effectively. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common result of COVID-19 infection, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) National Institutes of Health (NIH). When ARDS is present alongside COVID-19, patients are much more likely to require mechanical ventilation, which increases the likelihood of lung damage.

  • #21. Respiratory arrest: Demographics

    States with the most deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition:
    - #1. New Jersey (912 deaths)
    - #2. New York (708 deaths)
    - #3. California (660 deaths)
    - #4. Massachusetts (496 deaths)
    - #5. Alabama (272 deaths)

  • #20. Intentional and unintentional injury: Overall

    - Deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition: 18,563

    By mid-August, the CDC was reporting that at least 3% of COVID deaths were from “adverse events” like injuries and poisonings. The bulk of these cases involve patients becoming infected with COVID-19 after entering a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

  • #20. Intentional and unintentional injury: Demographics

    States with the most deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition:
    - #1. Florida (817 deaths)
    - #2. New Jersey (772 deaths)
    - #3. Texas (671 deaths)
    - #4. Pennsylvania (614 deaths)
    - #5. California (576 deaths)

  • #19. Obesity: Overall

    - Deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition: 19,903

    Obesity, which the CDC defines as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above, complicates and/or aggravates COVID-19 patients in several ways, according to the Obesity Society. People with obesity are more likely to have compromised immune systems or preexisting cardiac or respiratory disease, which are the underlying conditions most likely to make COVID infection more severe. Also, people with obesity can be more challenging to diagnose early and accurately.

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  • #19. Obesity: Demographics

    States with the most deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition:
    - #1. Florida (1,386 deaths)
    - #2. Texas (1,118 deaths)
    - #3. Illinois (877 deaths)
    - #4. California (787 deaths)
    - #5. New Jersey (520 deaths)

  • #18. Other respiratory system diseases: Overall

    - Deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition: 20,631

    The most common respiratory diseases are asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis/bronchiectasis, pneumonia, and pleural effusion. When combined with COVID-19—also an acute respiratory illness—the risk of severe complications rises dramatically, according to the CDC.

  • #18. Other respiratory system diseases: Demographics

    States with the most deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition:
    - #1. New Jersey (884 deaths)
    - #2. Connecticut (848 deaths)
    - #3. Texas (744 deaths)
    - #4. Massachusetts (668 deaths)
    - #5. California (646 deaths)

  • #17. Alzheimer’s: Overall

    - Deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition: 20,828

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of progressive dementia, and the degenerative disease presents difficult challenges when those who suffer from it contract the coronavirus. Alzheimer’s disease does not increase the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in and of itself, according to the Northwest Indiana Times, but sufferers with failing memories are likely to neglect preventative tasks like hand-washing. Also, isolation is detrimental to dementia patients, whether they’re quarantined to prevent infection or to prevent the spread after becoming infected.

  • #17. Alzheimer’s: Demographics

    States with the most deaths where deceased had COVID-19 and this condition:
    - #1. California (1,143 deaths)
    - #2. New Jersey (699 deaths)
    - #3. Pennsylvania (616 deaths)
    - #4. Texas (579 deaths)
    - #5. Massachusetts (570 deaths)

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