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LA's Seeing An Uptick In At-Home Deaths Among Asians

A coroner's van is parked outside the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. (Courtesy Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner)
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By Yingjie Wang and Elly Yu

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As we reported a few days ago, Los Angeles County this April saw a jump of more than 50% in people dying at home compared with at-home deaths last April, according to data from the county's medical examiner-coroner's department.

Last April, Asians accounted for 4% of at-home deaths; this year, they account for 8% (that number was 6% in April 2018 and April 2017). In other words, that 8% is the highest rate in the last four years, according to an LAist analysis of case data from the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

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Source: L.A. County's Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner

In April this year, 34 Asians died at home, compared to 12 last April (18 Asians died at home in April 2018, and 17 in 2017).

At the same time, the percentage of Hispanic/Latino American deaths at home increased from 23% to 25%, and the percentage of at-home deaths among Caucasians dropped from 48% to 43%, and the percentage of at-home deaths among Blacks dropped from 19% to 18%.

If we look at the whole picture using data provided by the LA County Department of Public Health, 18% of people in L.A. who died from COVID-19 are identified as Asians, while they make up just 15.4% of the population.


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Reasons for the spike in at-home deaths -- among Asians, Latinos, or Angelenos as a whole -- remain unclear, as many causes of death are still under investigation. Experts say more deaths may be happening at home because people are staying at home more, or that more people are dying at home from COVID-19, or other untreated illnesses.

Also noteworthy: Despite a slight drop in the proportion of African American at-home deaths, the number is still disproportionately higher compared to other ethnic groups. On top of that, African Americans are also dying of COVID-19 at a higher rate compared to other groups: African Americans make up 9% of the county's overall population, and 12% of COVID-19 deaths.

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We'll bring you more as we analyze the data.