News from the FDA/CDC

Comorbidities more common in hospitalized COVID-19 patients



Greater prevalence of underlying health conditions such as diabetes and chronic lung disease was seen among nearly 7,200 Americans hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prevalence of underlying conditions in U.S. COVID-19 patients

Of the 122,653 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to the CDC as of March 28, the COVID-19 Response Team had access to data on the presence or absence of underlying health conditions and other recognized risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections for 7,162 (5.8%) patients.

“Among these patients, higher percentages of patients with underlying conditions were admitted to the hospital and to an ICU than patients without reported underlying conditions. These results are consistent with findings from China and Italy,” Katherine Fleming-Dutra, MD, and associates said in the MMWR.

Individuals with underlying health conditions/risk factors made up 37.6% of all COVID-19 patients in the study but represented a majority of ICU (78%) and non-ICU (71%) hospital admissions. In contrast, 73% of COVID-19 patients who were not hospitalized had no underlying conditions, Dr. Fleming-Dutra and the CDC COVID-19 Response Team reported.

With a prevalence of 10.9%, diabetes mellitus was the most common condition reported among all COVID-19 patients, followed by chronic lung disease (9.2%) and cardiovascular disease (9.0%), the investigators said.

Another look at the data shows that 40.5% of those with underlying conditions were hospitalized, compared with 9.0% of the 4,470 COVID-19 patients without any risk factors.

“Strategies to protect all persons and especially those with underlying health conditions, including social distancing and handwashing, should be implemented by all communities and all persons to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” the response team wrote.

SOURCE: Fleming-Dutra K et al. MMWR. 2020 Mar 31;69 (early release):1-5.

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