81% Of People Who Died Of COVID-19 Had “Comorbidities” Or Another Underlying Health Condition

12 Wisconsinites have passed away from only COVID-19

MacIver News Service | July 18, 2020

People with comorbidities account for 81 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) disclosed to the MacIver News Service on Friday.

A comorbidity refers to a person “having two or more diseases at the same time,” as described by the National Cancer Institute. If someone has both cancer and diabetes, then they are considered comorbid. If someone has kidney disease and has tested positive for the coronavirus, then they are also considered comorbid.

Table sent to MacIver by the DHS, July 17, 2020.


Comorbidities sometimes do not affect each other, but in some cases, the multiple conditions could make one disease worse.

DHS specifically noted that pregnancy is included as a comorbidity in their data, but old age is not. Of the Wisconsinites who have passed away from COVID-19, over 70 percent of them have been over the age of 70. 

The Centers for Disease Control note that people with pre-existing cancers, heart conditions, diabetes, liver disease, dementia, or smoking habits could be at a greater risk of experiencing a severe case of the coronavirus.

Of Wisconsin’s 833 COVID-related deaths on Friday, July 17, 675 of the deceased were identified as having another condition besides their COVID-19 infection.

Of the 833 recorded COVID-19 deaths, 12 people (1 percent) did not have a condition in addition to their COVID-19 infection. 

In 146 people (18 percent) who have died with COVID-19, the DHS is unsure if they had another condition or illness. Whoever registered the person’s death did not indicate if the person had another condition, but their records do not say that the person was free from comorbidities. 

As of July 17th, 40,507 Wisconsinites have tested positive for the coronavirus. 2.1 percent of these positive tests have resulted in death. Almost 30,000 Wisconsinites have fully recovered from COVID-19.