The CDC has updated and expanded its list of individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and it now includes a majority of patients with kidney disease.

According to the agency, consistent evidence shows that patients with chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, or an immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Individuals with heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies are also at high risk, as are patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sickle cell disease.

In addition, obesity (a body mass index of 30 or higher) increases the likelihood of severe COVID-19 illness. Two in every 5 individuals in the United States are considered obese.

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The CDC has also expanded its warning related to age. For adults, risk increases steadily with age, and now includes adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and not just those over the age of 65 years.

Based on the available evidence, hypertension might pose a lower risk than previously thought. Asthma, neurologic conditions such as dementia, cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and pregnancy also round out the list of conditions that might increase the risk for severe COVID-19 based on limited research.

The health protection agency encouraged individuals to follow important steps to limit COVID-19 infection and spread:

  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces or shared items.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you are around people you do not live with, especially indoors.


CDC updates, expands list of people at risk of severe COVID-19 illness [news release]. CDC; June 26, 2020.