People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and lung disease are more likely to become seriously ill or die if they contract the novel coronavirus, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 78 percent of coronavirus patients who were admitted to intensive care units had at least one underlying health condition, CDC said.
The most common conditions were diabetes, chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease, but the agency also found a higher risk among smokers and people with hypertension, renal disease and coronary artery disease.
CDC said many of those conditions are common in the U.S., which underscores the importance of COVID-19 prevention in people with underlying conditions.
Among all COVID-19 patients that CDC had data on, 173 out of a total 184 deaths were reportedly among patients with at least one underlying condition.
Overall, the agency found that 37 percent of all coronavirus cases that were reporting data had at least one underlying condition or risk factor.
CDC said it is not yet known whether the severity or level of control of the underlying health conditions affects the risk for severe disease associated with COVID-19.
The agency acknowledged that the analysis was limited by small numbers and missing data “because of the burden placed on reporting health departments with rapidly rising case counts.” The CDC said the findings might change as additional data become available.
However, the results are consistent with findings from China and Italy, it said.
The agency recommended that people with those underlying conditions keep a 30-day supply of medication and a two-week supply of food and other necessities.