Diabetes is most common underlying condition for COVID deaths, hospitalizations in San Antonio

Heart conditions second most underlying condition found in COVID-19 patients

Medical personnel administer COVID-19 testing at a drive-through site, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in San Antonio. Coronavirus testing in Texas has dropped significantly, mirroring nationwide trends, just as schools reopen and football teams charge ahead with plans to play. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Diabetes and heart conditions are the most common underlying medical conditions for people who have died from and been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Bexar County.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced the new data from Metro Health during Wednesday evening’s briefing.

The data showed that 37 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 have diabetes, and 15 percent have a heart condition.

Lung disease or COPD, asthma and obesity were underlying conditions found in 7 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

“It’s a reminder that many of these health conditions are common in San Antonio,” said Nirenberg. “You have to wear a mask and keep your physical distance and keep others safe if you’re interested in helping us keep containment of this virus.”

Nirenberg said those percentages also mirror the underlying conditions for people who have died from the virus in Bexar County. Those percentages are:

  • 37 percent of people who died had diabetes
  • 20 percent of people who died had heart condition
  • 10 percent of people who died had lung disease or COPD
  • 9 percent of people who died had obesity
  • 3.5 percent of people who died had asthma
COVID-19 trends Sept. 16, 2020 (COSA/Bexar County)

“Any time you have one of these chronic conditions, you are susceptible because you have your immune system may not be up to par. Somebody who has diabetes may have not just diabetes, but may have other other risk factors like heart disease, atherosclerosis, obesity,” said Dr. Anita K Kurian, Metro Health Asst. Dir. of Communicable Disease.

“As the number of these underlying medical conditions or co-morbid conditions go up, your risk of getting any infection, not just COVID infections, but any infection increases," said Kurian.

As of Wednesday evening, the city reported 50,284 total COVID-19 cases and 1,022 deaths in Bexar County.

There were 210 patients in the hospital, 100 in intensive care and 42 on ventilators.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.