In a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published between December 2019 and early July 2020, the researchers investigated the extent to which chronic diseases are associated with an increased risk of fatal COVID-19 courses.
Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, stroke and cancer increase the risk of death from the COVID-19-causing virus, according to the new study, which involved researchers from Penn State College of Medicine. The study was published in the English language journal “PLOS ONE”.
Certain diseases can greatly increase the risk of dying from COVID-19 and in some cases even triple the risk of death. This finding could help the public health system to improve the care of sick people and to develop interventions that target precisely these high-risk groups.
Death due to pre-existing conditions with COVID-19?
For the study, data from 25 studies worldwide with more than 65,000 people at an average age of 61 years were analyzed. During the investigation it turned out for example that cardiovascular diseases double the risk to die from COVID-19. The research group determined in addition that other pre-existing conditions can increase the risk of dying of COVID-19 by a factor of one and a half to three.
Data from more than 65,000 people were evaluated
The study suggests that the above chronic diseases are not only common in people with COVID-19, but that their presence is also a warning sign of a higher risk of death.
The team studied eleven conditions that pose a risk of serious illness and fatal COVID-19 events, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic liver disease and HIV/AIDS.
Compared to hospitalized people with COVID-19 without previous illnesses, people with diabetes and cancer are 1.5 times more likely to die, the researchers report. People with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure are twice as likely to die and people with chronic kidney disease are three times more likely to die from COVID-19.
“Although the health care system has circulated anecdotal information about the influence of these risk factors on COVID-19 mortality, our systematic review and meta-analysis is the most comprehensive to date that attempts to quantify the risk,” study author Vernon Chinchilli of Penn State College of Medicine reported in a press release.
While additional research is needed to better understand the risk, the researchers conclude that the new findings should be incorporated into global prevention and treatment strategies now. (as)
The researchers explained that previous studies investigating the association between existing chronic pre-existing conditions and COVID-19 mortality had limitations in terms of the number of countries included, the number of studies included and the number of conditions studied.
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.