This report from the CDC suggest that in the United States, persons with underlying health conditions or other recognized risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections appear to be at a higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19 than are persons without these conditions.
Published reports from China and Italy suggest that risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease include underlying health conditions, but data describing underlying health conditions among U.S. COVID-19 patients have not yet been reported. This report analyzes data from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases from 50 states, four U.S. territories and affiliated islands, the District of Columbia, and New York City between February 12–March 28, 2020.
As of March 28, 2020, U.S. states and territories have reported 122,653 U.S. COVID-19 cases to CDC, including 7,162 (5.8%) for whom data on underlying health conditions and other known risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections were reported.
Among these 7,162 cases:
- 2,692 (37.6%) patients had one or more underlying health condition or risk factor
- 4,470 (62.4%) had none of these conditions reported.
- The percentage of COVID-19 patients with at least one underlying health condition or risk factor was higher among those requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission (358 of 457, 78%) and those requiring hospitalization without ICU admission (732 of 1,037, 71%) than that among those who were not hospitalized (1,388 of 5,143, 27%).
- The most commonly reported conditions were diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.
The results of this report are consistent with findings from China and Italy, which suggest that patients with underlying health conditions and risk factors, including, but not limited to, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, COPD, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic renal disease, and smoking, might be at higher risk for severe disease or death from COVID-19. Strategies to protect all persons and especially those with underlying health conditions, including social distancing and handwashing, should be implemented by all communities and all persons to help slow the spread of COVID-19.