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Covid-19: Underlying Health Condition Poses Higher Risk of Death

File photo of a health worker taking the temperature of a patient at a makeshift COVID-19 care center. (AP)

File photo of a health worker taking the temperature of a patient at a makeshift COVID-19 care center. (AP)

Patients with an underlying medical condition like cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, among others can escalate the risk of dying from Covid-19.

An analysis from multiple studies have found that people with certain underlying medical conditions have a higher risk for severe illness on Covid-19 infected patients. It also increases the risk of Covid-19 death.

Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have found that certain pre-existing illness can put the patients at a greater risk of death.

According to their study published on Plos One, the team performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 25 different studies on Covid-19. The researchers analysed the data from more than 65,000 patients.

Patients with an underlying medical condition like cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, stroke, liver disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer can escalate the risk of dying from Covid-19.

The data was collected from the studies published between December 2019 and July 2020 including Medline, Scopus, Ovid, and Cochrane Library databases, and medrxiv.org. They found that patients with chronic illness have more risk of Covid-19 mortality.

The researchers used the data of hospitalised Covid-19 patients with pre-existing conditions compared to those without pre-existing conditions. During the study, they noticed that:

1. Chronic kidney disease may triple the mortality rate in covid-19 patients

2. Patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure may double their risk of dying from Covid-19.

3. Diabetes and cancer patients are 1.5 times risker of Covid-19 death.

The study emphasised on the need to be aware of the fact that chronic conditions are very common in patients with Covid-19 and they pose a higher risk of death. It further revealed that many countries like South Africa have common medical condition among people like hypertension, blood pressure and diabetes in which the individuals are unaware as they haven’t been diagnosed.

The pandemic has not only isolated many patients with chronic illnesses from their routine medical check-up but also lead to the severity of their illness. The virus has become a huge threat to the people with co-existing illness and found to be at more risk to death with the ongoing Covid-19.


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