We continue to learn more and more every day about COVID-19. As new information becomes available, we encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website to remain up-to-date on important COVID-19 information. 

While people of any age can catch SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, certain medical conditions increase your risk for severe illness. Let’s take a look.

These medical conditions increase risk for severe illness

Regardless of your age, if you have one of the following medical conditions, you are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC:

  • Cancer.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant.
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher).
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies.
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Type 2 diabetes.

What is important to note is that several of these conditions also increase your risk of developing sleep apnea: obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart conditions. 

Who else might be at risk?

Because COVID-19 is a new disease, we do not know everything. However, there is speculation from researchers and the medical community that people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 too:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe).
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain).
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure.
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines.
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia.
  • Liver disease.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues).
  • Smoking.
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder).
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

If you have an underlying medical condition, the best way to protect yourself and to reduce the spread of the virus is to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible. If you do have to go out and interact with others, take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 such as wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing your hands.

As we all continue to grapple with this pandemic, please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to continuing to provide safe care for our patients.