These underlying conditions make coronavirus more severe, and they're surprisingly common
A wide array of people are at risk, including those with high blood pressure and diabetes. Here's how they can prepare.
High blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are so commonplace that everyone reading these words likely knows somebody with at least one of these maladies.
They are also the “underlying conditions” most associated with severe cases of COVID-19, based on early clinical profiles on the disease. Even though 80 percent of COVID-19 cases are mild, these reports reveal that the novel coronavirus can endanger people other than the elderly and infirm.
The idea that the virus only poses a threat to older people comes from focusing too heavily on COVID-19’s death rate, which the World Health Organization updated last Wednesday to 3.4 percent. This rate is an average across ages, and the chances of dying do rise among older people.
But evidence also