Blacks have the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the U.S., with about 47 percent affected. The rate of neurological disease in African Americans is difficult to accurately quantify at this time.
“People who live with chronic illnesses suffer the worst outcomes of COVID-19 infection,” the department said in a statement. “These numbers should remind us of the importance of ensuring equitable access to preventive healthcare and the other resources that reduce people’s vulnerability to this virus.”
Those with such underlying conditions became eligible for a vaccine in California on March 15, due to their higher risk of death from the virus. Click here for more information on how to find a vaccine appointment in Southern California, where everyone over age 16 is now eligible.
Chronic illness was also a leading indicator of COVID-19 hospitalization, with about 87% of those treated for the virus in L.A. County from last August to January having at least one comorbidity.
The most common preexisting condition among hospitalized patients was cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, observed in 66% of patients, officials said.
That was followed by diabetes, found in 42% of people hospitalized, and 36% of those who died were obese, according to the health department figures.
Another 57 coronavirus deaths were reported in L.A. County Wednesday, raising the pandemic’s toll to 23,553.
Around 500 people were battling the virus in hospitals countywide as of Wednesday, about a quarter of them in intensive care.
But health officials pointed to one encouraging figure: With more older residents becoming fully vaccinated, the rate of hospitalization for people 80 and older has dropped by 96%.