Why does Mississippi have a relatively high death rate from coronavirus?

By Steve Wilson
April 9, 2020

Underlying conditions are one of the reasons why the death rate in Mississippi is so high from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mississippi is ranked 17th in the death rate for COVID-19. One of the main reasons the state is ranked so high is that it has some of the highest incidences nationally of these underlying conditions that can lead to increased morbidity from the virus.

They include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure). Mississippi has the nation’s highest death rate in this category during normal times.
  • Obesity. Mississippi is the nation’s fattest state, with 39.5 percent of its citizens considered obese according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  • Diabetes. The Magnolia State has the second highest death rate nationally from this disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Mississippi has the nation’s highest death rate from this syndrome and this is the number one cause of death statewide.
  • Renal (kidney) disease, which Mississippi leads the nation in the death rate.
  • Lung disease. Mississippi has the third highest death rate nationwide for lung disease
  • Compromised immune system. Jackson is the fourth-highest city nationally for HIV infection rates.

There are 2,003 cases of COVID-19 statewide, with 67 deaths, according to data from the state Department of Health as of April 9. 

Four of the COVID-19 deaths statewide have been from those without any of these conditions, with the rest having one or more of these issues. 

Forty deaths statewide have come from those with cardiovascular disease, while 34 with diabetes have passed away after catching the virus. Twenty six of the COVID-19 victims in the state also had hypertension.

The latest models at the Institutes for Health Metrics and Evaluation predict that there will be 301 deaths from COVID-19 in Mississippi. The models also predict that April 19 is the projected peak in daily deaths, which would be 11 deaths. 

The models also predict that there won’t be a bed shortage (5,733 available) by the disease’s peak in Mississippi, same for intensive care unit beds (111 needed, 340 available). 

Statistic: Death rates from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States as of April 9, 2020, by state (per 100,000 people)* | Statista


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