Around 40% of adults in the U.S. are at risk of severe complications due to COVID-19.
Chronic health problems like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and kidney disease are risk factors for those suffering from COVID-19. These diseases are more prevalent among coronavirus patients who are sick enough to be admitted to a hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report Thursday, July 23, that revealed around 40% of U.S. adults have at least one of these underlying health conditions. This puts them at risk for severe complications due to COVID-19.
According to a previous study published in April, 57% of people hospitalized with coronavirus infection in New York City had high blood pressure (BP) while 41% were grossly overweight or obese, NBC News reported. It also stated that a little over one third had diabetes.
To find out the magnitude of these health conditions nationwide, CDC authors employed statistical modeling assumed from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a phone survey of almost 500,000 adults in the U.S. The poll included information on people living in every county in the United States.
When the authors examined each county, they discovered broad health disparities in the ratio of five chronic conditions, namely, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease. In some counties, approximately one in every four people suffers from at least one of these chronic conditions. The number increased to about two in three other counties.
The CDC authors also revealed those who live in counties located in Southeastern states are at particular risk because these are the places found to have the highest occurrences of at least one of the five chronic conditions. These include Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi, as well as a couple of counties in Texas, South Dakota, northern Michigan, and Oklahoma, the authors wrote in the study.
CDC officials say the rough county-by-county data stated in their report can greatly help local public health officials. “It will allow for more effective messaging about social distancing and other public health measures,” said Dr. Dan Culver, a critical care doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, as reported by NBCNews.
Culver added that the information derived from the report can help in making vital decisions like the allocation of therapeutics and supplies. As of July 24, Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center website shows the U.S. has 4,038,864 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, 144,305 of which have died.