Doctors have been warning for months that "underlying conditions" raise your risk of getting hit hard with the coronavirus, based on the experience of other countries. But which conditions, and how much difference does each one make?
The first comprehensive U.S. numbers were published Tuesday afternoon, illustrating just how much worse the consequences of an infection can be for those with heart, lung, and kidney problems.
Hospitalization status was listed for 7,162 infected patients for whom medical history was available:
Among 784 patients with diabetes, half were hospitalized, including 148 (18.8%) in intensive care.
Among 656 patients with chronic lung disease, one-third were hospitalized, including 94 (14.3%) in intensive care.
For 213 infected people with kidney disease, two-thirds were hospitalized, including 56 (26.2%) in intensive care.
Current and former smokers also fared worse than other infected patients, on average.
The data were published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the numbers represented the first large-scale description of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the U.S., the authors cautioned that the data were incomplete, and that the percentages would change.
The study did not include patients who have died from infection, as the health history for many of them was not yet available.
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