HOUSTON — More than half of Houston residents who have died from COVID-19 had diabetes, according to data released Wednesday from the Houston Health Department.
City officials said 51.9% had diabetes and 23% were obese.
The percentages are based on information record Nov. 1 when Houston's death toll was at 3,646 people.
Hypertension was the most common comorbidity at 56.3 percent with heart disease at 40.1 percent and kidney disease at 25.8 percent, according to the city.
Experts agree that underlying health conditions increase the likelihood an infected person will suffer from severe coronavirus symptoms, and in the worst cases, long-term hospitalization or death.
“That’s why our access and equity response strategy targets vital testing, vaccination, and education resources in areas of the city with increased prevalence of underlying health conditions,” Director Stephen Williams of the Houston Health Department said.
The department reports 13.5% of Houston residents have diabetes, slightly higher than the national rate of 10%.
The Center for Disease Control says more than 88 million adults are at risk of getting the disease.
It's why city health officials are encouraging residents to check out the Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Network, which focuses on helping people diagnosed or at risk of diabetes develop self-management skills.