CDC: About 90% of Coronavirus Hospitalized Patients Have Underlying Conditions

A patient is wheeled out of Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance, Tuesday, Apri
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Nearly 90 percent of U.S. coronavirus patients who have been hospitalized have underlying health problems, or comorbidities, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), released Wednesday, focuses on hospitalization rates and characteristics of patients hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

CDC reports among 1,482 patients from 14 states who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in March, 74.5 percent were 50 years of age or older, and 54.4 percent were male.

According to Dr. Shikha Garg and associates, during the month of March, among 178 (12%) adult patients with data on underlying conditions, 89.3% had one or more underlying conditions:

[T]he most common were hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%).

Medscape provided a bar graph of the data regarding underlying conditions of those hospitalized for the infection caused by the novel coronavirus that originated in China:

The hospitalization rate during the four-week period was 4.6 per 100,000 population. Those aged 65 or older showed the highest rate of hospitalization (13.8) and the rate increased with age. The rate for those aged 50–64 years was 7.4 and for those aged 18–49 years, the rate was 2.5.

“These findings suggest that older adults have elevated rates of COVID-19–associated hospitalization and the majority of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying medical conditions,” said the researchers, explaining further:

These findings underscore the importance of preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain) to protect older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions, as well as the general public. In addition, older adults and persons with serious underlying medical conditions should avoid contact with persons who are ill and immediately contact their health care provider(s) if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

To perform the study, the researchers used COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), which was created to conduct population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19–associated hospitalizations in the United States. COVID-NET was developed using the existing infrastructure of the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) (4) and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RSV-NET), the researchers say.


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