1 in 5 at Greater Risk of Severe COVID-19

severe illness-covid

An estimated 22% of people globally—1.7 billion—have at least one condition that puts them at a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 if infected, according to a new study in The Lancet Global Health.

The most prevalent conditions in those aged 50+: chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes.

"Not everyone with a condition will progress to a hospital," first author Andrew Clark of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told The New York Times.

Still, the data could help inform strategies to protect those at heightened risk, including countries with older populations or high HIV/AIDS prevalence.

Separately, new data released by the CDC yesterday confirms the pandemic’s disproportionate impact in the US on people with underlying medical conditions and stark disparities between whites and minority groups, The Washington Post reports.

Takeaways, from nearly 600,000 sickened by COVID-19 between Jan. 22 and May 30:

  • Deaths were 12X as high among patients with underlying conditions.
  • 33% of patients were Hispanic, although they make up 18% of the US population; 22% were black, (13% of the population); & 1.3% were Native American or Alaskan Natives—almost double their overall US population.
  • ~45% of patients with underlying conditions were hospitalized vs. 7.6% of those w/out.