The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in a newly released report that people with underlying health conditions are 12 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than healthy people.
The CDC examined all coronavirus infections and deaths from the beginning of the pandemic through the end of May. In its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC found that “the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be severe, particularly in certain population groups” — namely the unhealthy.
“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,” the CDC said.
Deaths among patients with reported underlying conditions came in at 19.5%, compared with those without reported underlying conditions, which was just 1.6%.
About 45% of patients with underlying conditions were hospitalized, compared to 7.6% of patients with none.
Men and women got sick at roughly the same rate, 403.6 cases per 100,000 persons. But the percentage of male patients who had to be hospitalized was about 16%, while 12% female patients were hospitalized.
The report also found that minorities were at higher risk. Among 599,636 cases, 33% were Hispanic (who make up about 18% of the total U.S. population) and 22% were black (who make up 13% of the population.)
“These findings suggest that persons in these groups … are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said.
In a finding that did not come as a surprise, the number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions was highest among those with underlying conditions in the 60-to-69 age bracket, at 11%, and in those between ages 70 and 79 years, at 12%.
Fatalities were highest among those aged 80 and above, regardless of pre-existing conditions, but about 50 percent of all deaths were in that age groups with a chronic health illness.