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Recent data from England’s National Health Services (NHS) reveals that 95% of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 who died had serious underlying health issues, findings that roughly align with the data out of New York City, the epicenter of the virus in the United States.
“Ninety-five percent of people who have died with COVID-19 in hospitals in England had underlying health issues,” Sky News reported Tuesday citing data obtained by the outlet.
“The data provided by NHS England shows that, as of 5pm on 26 April, 18,749 people had died in hospital with the virus,” Sky News reports. “In a small number of cases, it was not possible to confirm if a patient did or did not have an underlying health condition. But for those where it was, 95% were found to have serious pre-existing issues. In patients over 80-years-old this figure was 96%, 60-79-years-old 95%, 40-59-years-old 88% and 20-39-years-old 82%.”
Sky News notes that breakdowns for victims under the age of 20 are not possible because it “cannot be disclosed as the sample is so small it would breach patient confidentiality rules to distinguish between those with or without pre-existing conditions.” The data also excludes “hospital deaths in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in the community or in care homes.”
In a separate report breaking down the demographics of those who have died in connection to the virus, BBC reported Tuesday that “fewer than one in 10 of those who have died have been under the age of 60,” while “more than half of deaths have been among people aged over 80.”
The notably high percentage of underlying condition-connected deaths in England is roughly mirrored in New York City, where an overwhelming percentage of those who have died in America’s hardest-hit city have likewise been confirmed to have head a serious pre-existing condition, which the city specifies as including “diabetes, lung disease, cancer, immunodeficiency, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, kidney disease, GI/liver disease, and obesity.”
The most recent numbers from the NYC Health Department (as of 6 p.m. April 27) show that a total of 11,820 people have died in connection to the virus. Of that total, 8,495 have been confirmed to have had a serious underlying condition, 68 have been confirmed to have “no underlying condition,” and 3,257 are listed as “underlying conditions unknown.” That means that of the total confirmed either way, 99.2% had an underlying condition, while just 0.8% did not. Even with the “unknowns” added into the total number of deaths, more than 70% of the people who have died have been confirmed to have had a serious pre-existing condition while just 0.6% have been confirmed to have no underlying condition.
In an opinion piece published by The New York Post Sunday, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford Medical Center Scott Atlas, a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, highlighted the data out of New York City, including the role underlying conditions appear to play in the death toll. “In the Big Apple, with almost one-third of all US deaths, the rate of death for all people ages 18 to 45 is 0.01 percent, or 13 per 100,000 in the population, one-eightieth of the rate for people age 75 and over. For people under 18, the rate of death is zero per 100,000. Of Empire State fatalities, almost two-thirds were over 70 years of age,” he wrote. “And regardless of age, if you don’t already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small. Of 7,959 NYC COVID-19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions, 99.2 percent had an underlying illness.”
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