Those are cases that scientists call extra deaths – the gap between reported deaths and expected deaths. Loss of life reflects the actual toll of the virus, which is affected in far greater numbers than those who die after COVID-19 infection.
Louisiana’s growth exceeds the US average, which was 20%, according to the analysis, published in the peer-reviewed journal of the American Medical Association. Of all the states, Louisiana ranks fourth for its high per capita mortality, behind only New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Over the past seven months, Louisiana hospitals have faced countless challenges as coronoviruses enhanced their staff and hospital capacity.
According to the study, coronovirus is the cause of three-quarters of Louisiana deaths. But about 25%, or 1,232 people, are unaccounted for by COVID-19 infection.
Virginia Commonwealth University study author and epidemiologist Drs. Stephen Wolf said, “For every three people who died of COVID-19 in Louisiana, another person died due to some aspect of the epidemic.”
There are two groups of people within that 25%. Some of those people were infected, but it was not mentioned in their death certificates – possibly because they died at home or were not confirmed in a laboratory before or after death.
The second group is made up of people who were not infected, but died due to interruptions in health care.
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“People are dying because of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and interruptions in their care,” said Woolf.
In Louisiana, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia doubled. There were 64 such deaths in the first week of 2020, but 127 in the week ending 11 April during the peak of the virus. Diabetes deaths have also increased significantly.
Those interruptions are driven by fear of caregiving during an epidemic and a medical system.
“My feeling is that these deaths due to disruptions are occurring more during surges when the system is being overwhelmed,” Woolf said. “In quiet times, people come out for appointments and the health system has the ability to deal with them. When hospitals are overrun and emergency room patients are in the hallway because there is no room for them, this is an environment where we worry more often about these types of deaths. “
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The report concludes what the state has reported and what doctors are looking for in hospitals, with LSU Healthcare Services Division CEO and former Secretary of Health Department Louisiana Dr. Rebekah said.
Gee, who was not involved in the study, points out that while New Orleans was an early hotbed, a cautious approach to the state’s reopening has kept it from experiencing dramatic growth like neighboring states, with the study’s findings a And data points.
GE said, “It is clear that the Governor’s order, such as barring and closing the bar, is effective.” “We know that these things work.”
A new report finds that one in three Louisiana residents is obese, and is one of 12 states with an obesity rate of over 35%.
The curve of New Orleans’ death is “A” – meaning there was a large peak in April that had largely closed. The curve of Louisiana in July is also of a shape, with a second, smaller bounce. This reflects Louisiana’s reopening approach and represents a short period of widespread transition. Woolf said the same was not true for other states.
“What we saw with it is an incident with the states that opened early – Florida, Texas, Arizona – their curve doesn’t look like a Capital A,” Wolf said. “The duration of the epidemic was very long. This is a study in the context of the epidemiology of the virus, but also in state policy.
Beyond those who die, each additional death produces a wave that affects many more. According to one study, an average of nine families are affected by each death, causing around two million additional bereavements. In Louisiana, the number of unhappy people will be 45,468 higher than in a normal year during March to August.
And additional deaths, calculated using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, represent only immediate deaths. Experts predict the slowest causes of death – suicide, substance abuse and cancer – will also be part of the epidemic toll.
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“We are definitely seeing increased substance use by people as a result of anxiety and depression,” Jie said. “Deaths from cancer are not quick. We know that routine colonoscopies and mammograms were canceled for several months. We can see the consequences of bad cancer, a later stage of diagnosis. ”
If the trend continues, experts expect more than 400,000 deaths in the US by the end of 2020, according to an editorial by JAMA chief editor. Approximately how many American people died in World War II.
The number – both coronovirus deaths and indirect deaths – depends on behavior.
“We can reduce that number,” Woolf said. “Deaths from other causes are important for people who have warning signs such as chest pain and symptoms that one cannot hesitate to call 911. We do not want to make them part of that figure.”
Emily Woodruff joins Public Health for the Times-Picayune New Orleans Advocate for a Report for America Corps Member.