Obesity, hypertension common in U.S. hospitalized COVID-19 patients

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Hypertension and obesity are the most common comorbidities in patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, which included data from the data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), of the 178 patients studied with underlying conditions, 49.7 percent had hypertension, 48.3 percent had obesity, 36.1 percent had a chronic metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus, 34.6 percent has a chronic lung disease such as asthma, and 27.8 percent had cardiovascular disease.

Hospitalization rates increase with age and are highest among older adults, in particular those 65 years and older, and the majority of hospitalized patients have underlying conditions, the authors said.

Additionally, 54 percent of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations occurred in males and 46 percent occurred in females. Similarly, among 580 patients with available race and ethnicity data, 45 percent were non-Hispanic white and 33 percent were non-Hispanic black, which the researchers said in the report suggests “black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

“Strategies to prevent COVID-19, including social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, are particularly important to protect older adults and those with underlying conditions,” said the CDC in its report. “Ongoing monitoring of hospitalization rates is critical to understanding the evolving epidemiology of COVID-19 in the U.S. and to guide planning and prioritization of healthcare resources.”

Editor’s note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.