US COVID-19 death rate reported to CDC, by state/territory (deaths per 100,000). Source: 1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_deathsper100k. AS = American Samoa; FSM = Federated States of Micronesia; GU = Guam; MP = Northern Mariana Islands; PW = Palau; RMI = Republic of the Marshall Islands; VI = Virgin Islands. Credit: The American Journal of Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2022.06.006
The American Journal of Medicine published an article acknowledging the link between unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and the one million COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Dr. Carl “Chip” Lavie, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute was one of the primary authors of this manuscript.
In 2022, the United States exceeded one million deaths related to COVID-19. The publication indicates that there is a significant association between unhealthy behaviors and conditions such as low physician activity, obesity, diabetes, and smoking, and poorer outcomes from COVID-19 infections.
“Clinicians have long been aware of the link between increased death rates and unhealthy lifestyles,” Dr. Lavie said. “People who lead sedentary lives with poor dietary habits and multiple chronic diseases are consistently more prone to negative health outcomes.”
Dietary habits and body mass index status in the United States. Source: 18 Althoff T, Nilforoshan H, Hua J Leskovec J. Large-scale diet monitoring data reveal disparate associations between food environment and diet. Credit: The American Journal of Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2022.06.006
The article explains that the current state of health outcomes has been building for decades and should be viewed as a syndemic, that is, the simultaneous occurrence of two prevalent or endemic health conditions. In this article, the authors compare maps of the United States depicting deaths from COVID-19, several lifestyle behaviors, obesity, and chronic disease. With this, a trend is evident and quite alarming for medical professionals.
“The reality of this comparison should be quite telling for many,” Lavie said. “The only way to fight the syndemic we know is to promote healthy lifestyles and meet the health needs of all, especially those in underserved communities who have been disproportionately affected by poor outcomes related to chronic diseases and COVID-19.”
Ross Arena et al, Mapping One Million COVID-19 Deaths and Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviors in the United States: Recognizing the Syndemic Pattern and Taking Action, The American Journal of Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2022.06.006
Provided by Ochsner Health System
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