Leo Sher, M.D.
On June 25, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated information regarding people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 (1). The CDC stated that revisions were made on June 25, 2020 to reflect available data as of May 29, 2020. The CDC reports that older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus disease.
The CDC reports that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among people aged 85 or older. Having underlying medical conditions can increase the risk for severe illness in older adults. The CDC states that 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older.
People with underlying medical conditions
The CDC reports that individuals of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
The CDC suggests that children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.
The CDC also suggests that individuals with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People Who Are at Increased Risk for Severe Illness. Updated June 25, 2020. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html Accessed: June 28, 2020.