07:23 GMT23 September 2020
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    New data released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that COVID-19 leads to “severe outcomes in older adults and those with underlying health conditions” such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.

    In fact, the data shows that when compared to those without such health issues, patients with underlying conditions are six times more likely to end up in the hospital due to the virus and 12 times more likely to die if they contract the virus. The data, which was reported to the CDC through April, also shows that 45% of COVID-19 patients with underlying conditions were hospitalized compared to 7.6% of patients who did not have underlying health conditions.

    As of May 30, the CDC cites cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%) and chronic lung disease (18%) as the most common underlying health conditions among a group of diagnosed COVID-19 patients in the US for whom information on such conditions was available.

    The latest CDC data also highlights disparities in COVID-19 diagnoses between whites and minority groups. The CDC has race and ethnicity information for about 600,000 people who became infected with the virus, of whom 33% were Hispanic and 22% were black. Hispanics and blacks make up around 17% and 13% of the US population, respectively.

    In addition, age is a major risk factor for COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Elderly people, defined as those who are over the age of 80, are at the highest risk of dying from the virus, regardless of whether they have any preexisting conditions. According to the data, people over the age of 80 are twice as likely to contract the virus compared to people only 10 years younger.

    The data shows that COVID-19 has killed half of all elderly patients with underlying health conditions who were hospitalized. In comparison, the virus was fatal for 30% of hospitalized elderly patients with no underlying health conditions. 

    The latest statistics by Worldometer show that there more than 2.2 million cases of the virus have been confirmed in the US, and almost 119,000 people have died as a result.

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