(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 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Nancy Chow, PhD, 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 US COVID-19 cases that were reported to the CDC as of March 28, 2020, including 7162 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% of these 7162 patients had one or more underlying health condition or risk factor, while 62.4% 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% vs 78 and 71%, respectively). Diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease were the most commonly reported conditions.

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“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.


Preliminary Estimates of the Prevalence of Selected Underlying Health Conditions Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 — United States, February 12–March 28, 2020 Weekly / April 3, 2020 / 69(13);382–386

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