CDC data shows significance of underlying health concerns in COVID-19 deaths

Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 31, 2020

According to data from the CDC, 94 percent of people who die while having COVID-19 also have other health concerns contributing to their deaths. This leads to death certificates that state both conditions; for example, listing both COVID-19 and diabetes, or COVID-19 and heart disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their latest COVID-19 data update last week. It said that roughly 6 percent of those who died while having COVID-19, the virus “was the only cause mentioned” as a cause of death. This signifies the role that contributing conditions play in how severe COVID-19 can be.

Over the weekend, Twitter removed a tweet that had been retweeted by President Donald Trump for violating Twitter’s rules. The tweet said, incorrectly, that the CDC had updated their numbers to “admit that only 6%” of the country’s coronavirus deaths “actually died from COVID,” according to CNN.

Other social media posts with similar language are still posted.

Roughly 183,000 Americans have died after contracting COVID-19. The CDC’s data, found here, looked at death certificates, which can lag behind raw death numbers from hospitals and states.

While people can live with other health concerns, like heart disease, obesity and respiratory issues, having underlying health conditions and then contracting COVID-19 can increase a person’s chances of becoming severely ill, or die.

CDC’s data shows “on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per (COVID-19) death.”

The top comorbidities, or underlying medical conditions in a COVID-19 death include:

  • Influenza and pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Hypertensive disease
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular and unspecified dementia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart failure
  • Renal failure
  • Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events