People who have been 65 or older, men and people of color who have been younger than 65 constitute disproportionate shares of Covid-19 deaths in the United States, based on a report released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among the 52,166 Covid-19 deaths reported to CDC from February 12 to May 18, more than 55% were men, not quite 80% were older than age 65. The median age of the people who had died was 78 years old.
Information reported to CDC was missing data about underlying health issues for about 59% of people who died, therefore the agency collected supplemental data for about 10,000 deaths.
Among those, 60.6% were male and nearly 75% were 65 years or older. Thirty-five percent were White, 24.9% were Black, 24.4% were Hispanic, 6.3% were Asian, 2.9% were multiracial or another race and .1% were American Indian or Alaskan natives. The median age of death was 71 among Hispanic people, 72 among nonwhite and non-Hispanic people, and 81 among White people.
Among people younger than 65 who died from Covid-19, the percent who have been Hispanic and nonwhite – 34.9% and 29.5%, respectively – were more than twice that of White people, 13.2%. The CDC called this big difference “notable.” The CDC said more research is needed to realize why there is a huge difference, but one potential factor may be that more Hispanic and nonwhite people are in the service industry as well as other essential industries that make it difficult to be physically distant from the others.
Among the 10,647 cases with supplementary data, more than 76% had a minumum of one underlying condition. For people younger than 65 yrs . old, underlying health issues seemed to play an even greater role; more than 83% had an underlying medical condition.
The most typical underlying health issues reported those types of who died was heart problems. More than 60% of these who died had some type of heart problems, not quite 40% had diabetes, more than 20% had chronic kidney infection, and just over 19% had chronic lung infection. Diabetes was the most common underlying condition among people younger than 65 – not quite half because age group had diabetes.
Most people died in hospitals, rather than in the home. The median time right away of the sickness to death was 10 days.
Among people younger than 65 years, 7.8% died within an emergency department or in the home.
“These out-of-hospital deaths might reflect lack of health care access, delays in seeking care, or diagnostic delays,” the report said. “Health communications campaigns could encourage patients, particularly those with underlying medical conditions, to seek medical care earlier in their illnesses. Additionally, health care providers should be encouraged to consider the possibility of severe disease among younger persons who are Hispanic, nonwhite, or have underlying medical conditions.”