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CDC Updates List of Who Is at Highest Risk for COVID-19

Agency now says risk among adults increases steadily with age, and is not limited to those over 65

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The list of conditions that put people at risk for severe COVID-19 illness has been expanded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk for severe illness, but the agency has further defined age- and health condition-related risks after a detailed review of available evidence. Previously, the CDC said that adults older than 65 were at increased risk for severe illness, but now says that the risk among adults increases steadily with age, and is not limited to those over 65.

The list of underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness has been expanded and now includes the following: chronic kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; obesity; weakened immune system from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathy; sickle cell disease; and type 2 diabetes.

The changes mean that more people are considered to be at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness. About 60 percent of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition, and about 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese. The more underlying health conditions people have, the higher their risk, the CDC warned. Other conditions that might increase the risk that were added to the list include: asthma; high blood pressure; neurologic conditions such as dementia; cerebrovascular disease such as stroke; and pregnancy.

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