Minorities born in the 1980s at higher risk of dying from COVID-19

Coronavirus

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the death rate for a Black American who is 55 years old is about the same as the death rate for a white person who is 65 years old. The death rate for 65-year-old African-American mirrors the rate for a 75-year-old white American.

The new information becomes more alarming when you examine the death rates for minorities who were born in the 1980s.

Middle-aged minorities are six times more likely to die from COVID-19. At age 44, minorities are eight times more likely to die from COVID-19, and at the age of 35, the death rate is 10 times higher.

For the past three decades, Norfolk-based Nurse Practitioner Olivia Newby has sounded the alarm about co-morbidity factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. She is particularly concerned about the health of Black women.

“The National Institutes of Health indicates four out of five African-American women are obese,” said Newby. WebMD describes obesity as a condition in which an adult’s Body Mass Index or BMI is 30 or more.

The Brookins report also says where minorities work, such as factories, warehouses, and shipyards — where distancing is difficult — can also play a role in infection rates. Where and how minorities live plays a role, said Newby.

“[Researchers] are looking at the social economics. They are also looking at — for a family to quarantine, to separate — the type of housing where they live,” said Newby.

Fresh produce grown at the Healthy Living Center of Norfolk

Newby is calling on minorities to take action now to beat the COVID-19 odds and the next pandemic. That action involves exercise and adding more plants to a diet while reducing the consumption of meat.

“Eat less food [like] animals that walk on the ground and eat foods that come from the ground,” said Newby. She operates the Healthy Living Center near Norfolk State University where members of the community can learn more about nutrition and fitness to combat disease.

Contact the center at www.hlcnorfolk.com to learn more about the program.


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