People with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalised six times more often than otherwise healthy individuals infected with the coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times more often. The Washington Post reports that this was according to a new report published by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Washington Post says the data are consistent with earlier reports showing the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people with underlying medical conditions. The report also highlighted the disease’s stark disparities between whites and minority groups.
What is already known about this topic?
Surveillance data reported to CDC through April 2020 indicated that COVID-19 leads to severe outcomes in older adults and those with underlying health conditions.
What is added by this report?
As of May 30, 2020, among COVID-19 cases, the most common underlying health conditions were cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), and chronic lung disease (18%). Hospitalizations were six times higher and deaths 12 times higher among those with reported underlying conditions compared with those with none reported.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Surveillance at all levels of government, and its continued modernization, is critical for monitoring COVID-19 trends and identifying groups at risk for infection and severe outcomes. These findings highlight the continued need for community mitigation strategies, especially for vulnerable populations, to slow COVID-19 transmission.
Erin K Stokes; Laura D Zambrano; Kayla N Anderson; Ellyn P Marder; Kala M Raz; Suad El Burai Felix; Yunfeng Tie; Kathleen E Fullerton
Full report in The Washington Post