Los Angeles County health officials announced that high blood pressure and diabetes are the most common underlying conditions found among those with comorbidities who die from COVID-19.
Having an underlying condition can strongly increase the risk of death from COVID-19, and about 85% of Angelenos who died from the virus had at least one comorbidity, which is the presence of one or more additional conditions.
High blood pressure was the most common, seen in 52% of deaths. Another 41% of decedents had diabetes, and 26% had a cardiovascular disease other than hypertension, officials said.
A neurologic disease was the fourth-leading preexisting condition, noted among 21% of those who died, and 16% had chronic renal disease, according to the Department of Public Health.
In the United States 41% of blacks have high blood pressure, as compared to 27% of whites. The prevalence of hypertension in blacks living in the United States demonstrates that environmental and behavioral characteristics are the more likely reasons for the higher prevalence in blacks living in the United States.
There are 18 genotypes and intermediate phenotypes that were implicated with an increase of blood pressure in blacks. A higher sensitivity to alcohol could be added to that list, as well as a higher renal retention of sodium by blacks.
The “slavery hypertension hypothesis” states that the higher prevalence of hypertension among blacks could have resulted from an enhanced ability to conserve salt by slaves, protecting them from fatal salt-depletive diseases during the stormy Atlantic passage, such as diarrhea and vomiting.5
Diagnosed diabetes is highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (14.7%), people of Hispanic origin (12.5%), and non-Hispanic blacks (11.7%), followed by non-Hispanic Asians (9.2%) and non-Hispanic whites (7.5%)