These Are the Chances You're at a High Risk for a Severe Case of COVID-19

A startling number of people are in danger of having a serious case of coronavirus, a new study says.

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The coronavirus has infected almost eight million people globally, resulting in more than 434,700 deaths around the world. However, not everyone has the same chances of coming down with a severe case of COVID-19, resulting in hospitalization and possibly death. Your chances of falling into that category depends on a multitude of factors—one major one being certain underlying health conditions. And according to a new study out of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 349 million people around the world are at a high risk for severe COVID-19 and would require hospitalization if infected.

According to the study, which was published in The Lancet Global Health, nearly 1.7 billion people worldwide have at least one underlying health condition that can worsen their case of coronavirus. That's 22 percent of the entire global population.

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However, high risk only refers to only a smaller subsection of those with an increased risk, Andrew Clark, PhD, co-author of the study, told The New York Times. Even if infected with the coronavirus, "not everyone with a condition will progress to a hospital," he said. Out of those with an increased risk, the researchers estimate that 349 million people—which amounts to four percent of the global population—are at a high risk for severe COVID-19.

The researchers listed 11 categories of underlying conditions that could raise your risk of having a severe case of coronavirus: cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic liver disease, diabetes, cancers with direct immunosuppression, cancers without direct immunosuppression but with possible immunosuppression caused by treatment, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, chronic neurological disorders, and sickle cell disorders.

Male doctor prohibiting access to a restricted area of the hospital
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released an updated "Case Surveillance," which includes all coronavirus cases reported from January through May 30. Similarly, one of the most disturbing conclusions within the report is that COVID-19 patients with one or more of three underlying conditions—cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease—were 6 times more likely to require hospitalization and 12 times more likely to die from coronavirus. And for more on these health conditions, check out Almost One Third of Coronavirus Patients Have This Underlying Condition.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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