Covid-19 death rate higher among those with high blood, obesity and diabetes

Health minister Zweli Mkhize
Health minister Zweli Mkhize
Image: ORRIN SINGH

High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity were the most common in people who have died from coronavirus.

This, according to health minister Zweli Mkhize, was noteworthy as they were common among a lot of South Africans.

Mkhize said this on Tuesday evening when he was reporting the latest Covid-19 statistics.

He said that the number of coronavirus cases in country had increased by 203 to 4,996 while the number of deaths increased by three to 93.

Mkhize said that the comorbidities that appeared to be mostly common when evaluating the causes of coronavirus-related deaths were high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“The other challenges, the other comorbidities such as lung diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive disease, some of which are also seen among the smokers are also very important comorbidities that have been associated,” Mkhize said.

“Also, the age above 63 there’s a majority of those facing difficulty of this particular infection comes from that age group.”

Mkhize said that the three main comorbidities were common among a lot of South Africans.

He said studies revealed that more than one-third of South Africans suffered from high blood pressure while over 4,5million have diabetes and over 70% of women and 40% of men are also overweight or obese.

“These risk factors are important to take into count because they are also similar factors [in reported deaths] when it comes to being in contact with the Covid-19 infection.

“We also still have an unknown factor which is HIV/Aids and tuberculosis and unfortunately South Africa has got the largest numbers and therefore we would not be in a position to learn from many other countries because they have got less of a challenge than us,” Mkhize said.

He said that they still felt that the country was fortunate when it came to number of deaths which he said stood at 1,9%.

Western Cape remains the epicentre with 1,870 cases with Gauteng sitting with 1,377 cases.

There are currently 919 cases in KwaZulu-Natal, 616 in the Eastern Cape, 113 in the Free State, 31 in Limpopo, 29 in the North West, 24 in Mpumalanga and 17 in the Northern Cape.

In reporting the numbers, health minister Zweli Mkhize said that the three deaths were in the Western Cape.

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