Underlying conditions put nearly half of adults in CDC study at risk for COVID-19

The prevalence of underlying health issues among U.S. adults in more than 3,000 counties was nearly 50 percent in 2018, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published July 24. 

To estimate the county-level prevalence of these conditions among adults, CDC researchers used self-reported data from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, along with U.S. Census data for 3,142 counties.

The median prevalence of any underlying condition was 47.2 percent. This finding is notable in today's public health climate, as past CDC research has shown that people with at least one underlying health issue are six to 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19.

Obesity had the highest overall weighted prevalence (30.9 percent), followed by diabetes (11.4 percent), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (6.9 percent), heart disease (6.8 percent) and chronic kidney disease (3.1 percent).

Urban areas had a larger number of people with underlying health issues, but rural areas had a higher prevalence. CDC said this information could help local officials identify areas at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 cases.

To view the full report, click here.

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