A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found people with chronic illnesses including heart disease and diabetes are 6 times more likely to be admitted to hospital, and 12 times more likely to die than COVID-19 patients with no underlying conditions.
The CDC based its analysis on 1.32 million confirmed cases of coronavirus that it received between January 22 and the end of May.
Although information on underlying conditions was available for only 22 percent of those patients, the CDC found that of those, 32 percent had a heart-related illness, 30 percent had diabetes and 18 percent a chronic lung condition including asthma.
Underlying medical conditions
The CDC said that age remained a major risk. The percentage of intensive care admission was highest among people aged at least 60 and over with underlying conditions. People over the age of 80 were the most likely to die, even if they didn't have a chronic illness.