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Severe COVID-19 Risk Up With Existing Health Conditions in U.S.

Most commonly reported underlying health conditions were diabetes, chronic lung disease, CVD

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, individuals with underlying health conditions have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to research published in the March 31 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Nancy Chow, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues describe the prevalence of underlying health conditions among U.S. COVID-19 patients. Data were included for 122,653 U.S. COVID-19 cases that were reported to the CDC as of March 28, 2020, including 7,162 cases for which data were available on underlying health conditions and other known risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections.

The researchers found that 37.6 percent of these 7,162 patients had one or more underlying health condition or risk factor, while 62.4 percent had none of these conditions. Compared with those not hospitalized, COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission or hospitalization without ICU admission were more likely to have at least one underlying health condition or risk factor (27 percent versus 78 and 71 percent, respectively). Diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease were the most commonly reported conditions.

"Community mitigation strategies, which aim to slow the spread of COVID-19, are important to protect all persons from COVID-19, especially persons with underlying health conditions and other persons at risk for severe COVID-19-associated disease," the authors write.

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