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45.4 Percent of U.S. Adults at Risk for Complications With COVID-19

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An estimated 45.4 percent of U.S. adults may have an increased risk for COVID-19complications due to chronic conditions, according to a study published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases

Mary L. Adams, M.P.H., from On Target Health Data LLC in Suffield, Connecticut, and colleagues used population-based U.S. data to estimate the fraction of adults in the community who may be at increased risk for COVID-19 complications because they reported any of the chronic conditions with a high case-fatality rate in China. Publicly available 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were included from telephone surveys of 444,649 randomly selected adults.

The researchers found that 26.7, 12, 4.7, and 2 percent of the adults reported one, two, three, and four or more chronic conditions, respectively. The prevalence rates of the chronic conditions were 8.5, 6.6, 9.1, 10.8, 32.4, and 6.8 percent for cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, respectively; the overall prevalence was 45.4 percent. With age, there was an increase in the percentage of adults with any of the chronic conditions; 53.4 percent were aged 18 to 59 years. There was variation in rates by state, race/ethnicity, insurance status, and employment, but not by sex.

“We estimated that 45.4 percent of U.S. adults are potentially at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 because of chronic conditions that are, in turn, associated with common modifiable risk factors,” the authors write.

One author is a consultant for On Target Health Data LLC.

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