These 6 Factors Make You Much More Likely to Die From COVID

New medical research outlines the characteristics that correlate most with mortality rates.

There is still a lot we don't know about the novel coronavirus, even four months into this pandemic. But what we are learning more and more is what makes certain people more likely to come down with a severe case of the disease—and even die as a result. Now, a new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association is providing even more insight into what specific characteristics put a coronavirus patient at the highest risk for succumbing to the deadly virus.

The report looked at 2,215 patients at 65 hospitals across the U.S. from March to April—875 of whom died due to the coronavirus. The following are the top distinct factors researchers cited as being the most common among those patients who died due to COVID. And for more on where coronavirus is becoming a growing concern, check out Here's How Quickly Coronavirus Is Spreading in Every State.

Being over 60

Elderly asian woman on wheelchair at home with daughter take care

It's no secret that the elderly are among the most susceptible to COVID-19, which the JAMA report confirms. The researchers found that those 60 and older were three times likelier to die from coronavirus and those 80 and older were 11 times more likely to succumb to the virus. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Being male

doctor with sad patient

According to the study's findings, men are 1.5 times more likely to die from coronavirus. That's, in part, due to certain comorbidities being more common among men than they are women. And for more on the sex divide when it comes to COVID, check out The Shocking Reason Older Men Are at an Even Higher Risk for Coronavirus.

Being obese

Heavy man measuring his waist

Obesity puts a burden on many parts of your body, including your immune system. According to the JAMA study, those with a BMI of 40 or over, which is considered severely obese, were 1.5 times more likely to die as a result of the virus.

Having coronary artery disease

Man holding heart while wife helps

Patients with coronary artery disease (including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are also 1.5 times more likely to succumb to COVID-19, according to the study.

Having cancer

Cancer patient

Cancer takes an enormous toll on one's immune system, which is why battling COVID is particularly difficult for cancer patients. They're two times more likely to die due to COVID, the study shows. And for more on cancer and coronavirus, check out The Surprising Reason Coronavirus Will Make Cancer Even Deadlier.

Being admitted to an overwhelmed hospital


Though this is not a personal factor, the JAMA report notes that a significant variable in the chances of a patient dying from COVID-19 was just how overwhelmed the hospital was when they were admitted. "Patients admitted to hospitals with fewer ICU beds had a higher risk of death," the report states. And for more on how we can avoid overburdening the health care system, check out The CDC Is "Highly Concerned" About COVID-19 in the Fall. Here's Why.

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