Vulnerable Populations

Protecting those who are most at risk.

In February 2020, a nursing home in Kirkland, WA became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The virus spread rapidly through the facility, resulting in 40 deaths. The situation in Kirkland raised questions about which populations were most at risk of succumbing to COVID-19 and about how to best protect the most vulnerable populations.

Early research has shown that older adults and people with underlying chronic health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19 and are more likely to develop severe complications as a result. According to The Tampa Bay Times, 83% of COVID-19 deaths in Florida have been people 65 or over. One in four people over 85 with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis has died. It's estimated that over 43% of the state's COVID-19 deaths are associated with nursing homes.

What does the senior population look like where you live? Are there nursing homes near you? Explore the data using the maps below to learn more about the senior population in your community. Both of these maps are drillable to the county level. The population data is from the American Community Survey. The nursing home data is from For more detailed information, click the button on the top left of the page to open the full report.

Underlying Chronic Health Conditions

People with underlying conditions often develop more severe cases of COVID-19.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are at greater risk for complications from COVID-19. The study analyzed data about 5,700 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area, and learned that underlying conditions were common. The researchers found that among all patients, 56.6% had hypertension, 41.7% had obesity, and 33.8% had diabetes.

Another study by New York University of 4,103 COVID-19 patients indicates that obesity is second only to age as a major risk factor for hospitalization. Of COVID-19 patients under age 60, people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-34 were more than twice as likely to be admitted into the hospital as people of the same age with a BMI lower than 30. COVID-19 patients with a BMI over 35 were three times as likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Do you know someone with obesity, diabetes, or hypertension? How does your home state or county stack up with the populations that live with these underlying conditions? Explore the data by scrolling through the maps below. Click the right or left arrows on the map to change the map to the next underlying condition. The data in these visualizations are from the Centers for Disease Control. The obesity and diabetes maps are drillable to the county level. In cases where there is no data, the counties do not appear. Hypertension data is state-level only.

Copyright © 2020 SAS Institute Inc. All Rights Reserved. All content and analysis presented in this report are provided strictly for educational, informational, and demonstration purposes only. This analysis is not intended to be medical guidance or advice. The results presented rely upon publicly available data from various sources that may contain inaccuracies or uncertainties. The report is made available by SAS Institute Inc. “as is” and disclaims any and all representations and warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties of merchantability, accuracy, and fitness for a particular purpose. Reliance on this application or insights therein for medical or public health guidance or use in commerce is strictly prohibited.