One of the fattest cities in America just so happens to also have one of the highest death rates from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), a correlation that experts say is no coincidence.
As it turns out, being obese greatly increases one’s risk of dying from the coronavirus, which at least partially explains why New Orleans currently has a death rate that’s seven times higher than that of New York, and a whopping 10 times higher than that of Seattle.
When asked to comment on this disparity, doctors and public health officials, in conjunction with available scientific data, all seem to agree that being fat is the biggest – no pun intended – elephant in the room.
“We’re just sick,” stated Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s former Health Secretary and the current head of Louisiana State University‘s healthcare services division, about the situation. “We already had tremendous healthcare disparities before this pandemic – one can only imagine they are being amplified now.”
Like New York and Seattle, New Orleans was one of the early “hot spots” where cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) began to soar much more quickly than in other areas of the country. And early on, it became apparent that more people were dying there compared to any other.
Because New Orleans residents suffer from significantly higher rates of not just obesity but also diabetes and hypertension, experts determined that this is probably why more people in the Big Easy are succumbing to the virus, as well as dying from it.
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97 percent of coronavirus deaths in Louisiana occurred in people with preexisting conditions
It’s not just New Orleans but the entirety of Louisiana that has a high obesity rate, along with high rates of diabetes and hypertension. This would explain why diabetes has been identified in 40 percent of deaths thus far, along with obesity in 25 percent of deaths; chronic kidney disease in 23 percent of deaths; and cardiac problems in 21 percent of deaths.
All in all, some 97 percent of deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in Louisiana thus far occurred in people with these and/or other preexisting health conditions, which lends credence to the notion that this virus is most serious in folks who aren’t healthy at the onset.
Many believe that this data is a harbinger for other southern states, which are also among the fattest in the country. States like Alabama and South Carolina could see similarly high death rates from COVID-19 because they, too, have higher-than-average obesity rates.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that across the board, 78 percent of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients that have been admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) had an underlying health condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chronic lung disease.
“What we worry about here is that we have more people in our communities with those conditions,” stated Dr. Joseph Kanter, an emergency department doctor and the top public health official in New Orleans.
“We’re more vulnerable than other communities, and the number of deaths we’ve seen illustrates that.”
Currently, New Orleans ranks as one of the worst cities in America for obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Nearly half of the population has high blood pressure, while 36 percent of residents are said to be obese.
“The burden of disease in Louisiana and the Deep South is higher than in the rest of the country,” Gee added.
More of the latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is available at Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include:
- Researchers find connection between obesity and COVID deaths, want obese people to be classified as priority group for coronavirus vaccinations
- Coronavirus lockdowns worsen childhood obesity, studies say
- Social isolation during coronavirus pandemic tied to higher rates of high blood pressure among patients
- Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to stay healthy during coronavirus lockdowns