Public Health: Hypertension, diabetes top underlying conditions among COVID deaths


Hypertension and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions in COVID-19-related deaths across Los Angeles County, which saw an additional 57 new deaths Thursday, Public Health officials announced. 

The county has seen a total of 5,446 deaths to date, of which 92% had underlying health conditions. But of that tally, 3,000 had hypertension and more than 2,000 had diabetes, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s chief medical officer, during a virtual briefing. 

“When you think about these diseases, you should realize these are very common,” he said. “The point is if they also acquire this infection, they’re really at risk of becoming very seriously ill and possibly passing away from this virus. Again, these are people that are in our communities. They go to work, they are out for shopping, they’re all around us. It may be any of us. We have a collective responsibility to protect them. That’s really what getting through COVID is all about.” 

Other underlying conditions he highlighted included neurologic, cardiovascular, chronic renal, chronic pulmonary, obesity, immuno-compromised, asthma and chronic liver disease. 

“Although people over 65 years old make up the largest portion of people who died with underlying health conditions, younger people with underlying health conditions become seriously ill and die from the virus as well,” according to Public Health officials in a news release Thursday. 

Of those with underlying health conditions who died, 24%, or 1,145, were between the ages of 41 and 64 years old, and 3%, or 151 people, were between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.

Public Health also reported 1,603 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 227,346 cases and officials indicated backlog cases from the state are still pending. In the Santa Clarita Valley, 28 new diagnoses were reported and no new deaths, which brought those totals to 5,080 and 52, respectively. 

To date, 1,378 people were hospitalized and 31% were in the ICU countywide. Public Health officials said a decline in the average length of stay for those hospitalized for COVID-19 “may reflect improvements in treatment and a shift in the age distribution of hospitalized patients, with an increase in younger individuals.”

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 5,080 Wednesday, broken down into region as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 2,741

Unincorporated – Acton: 55

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 24

1 Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 6

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 108

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,879 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 2

Unincorporated – Newhall: 6

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 5

Unincorporated – Saugus: 22

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 140

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 55

Unincorporated – Valencia: 39

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