What are underlying health conditions? Our bodies are designed to be healthy and strong. But sometimes, things can go wrong with our health. There are a lot of different reasons why this might happen, such as other illnesses or conditions that cause our bodies to not work properly. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, it’s important to know what underlying conditions could be causing their symptoms.

Underlying medical conditions are health problems that may increase your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. 

what are underlying health conditions
Source: Healthline

Underlying medical conditions are NOT related to the infection itself (COVID-19) and do not cause any symptoms themselves. However, they may make someone more likely to get COVID-19 if they go through an exposure event. Such as being exposed directly by another person who has been infected with COVID-19. Or having contact with something contaminated by blood containing blood products. Like donated plasma or red blood cells. Because these were collected before screening began for hepatitis C virus antibodies in 2010.

A list of underlying conditions in the CDC guidance, uses the two categories below. They help health care providers determine patients’ risk of severe illness related to COVID-19. 

Underlying medical conditions are health problems that may increase your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. These conditions can be chronic or temporary, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease (cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure)
  • Pregnancy

People who are at higher risk for severe illness include people who:

  • Who are at higher risk for severe illness include:
  • Who are 65 years and older.
  • Living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

People with an underlying medical condition, particularly if not well controlled, including: diabetes mellitus; heart disease as well as stroke; liver as well as kidney disease; respiratory disease such as emphysema or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); arthritis or other musculoskeletal disorders such as gout

Are 65 years and older:

CDC. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2006. Public-Use Data Files. Hyattsville, MD: CDC, 2011.

  • *All statistical analyses were conducted with Stata software version 10 (StataCorp LP). The analysis file is available from the corresponding author on request.

Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

If you live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you are at higher risk of severe illness related to COVID-19. This is because people living in these facilities may be at higher risk of underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to the virus.

Have an underlying medical condition, particularly if not well controlled, including:

Underlying medical conditions include diabetes, heart disease, as well as pregnancy.

Underlying medical conditions can be chronic and also temporary.

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease):

What are underlying health conditions? CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD).

Talking Points:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease that makes it hard to breathe
  • COPD is a long-term condition that can be a cause of smoking; exposure to second-hand smoke as well as exposure to environmental pollutants.

Immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant:

Talking Points:

  • Those who have had a solid organ transplant
  • People who have had a solid organ transplant and are taking immune suppressing medications
  • People who have had a solid organ transplant and are taking immune suppressing medications and have a suppressed immune system

Serious heart conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension):

Heart failure is a condition that causes the heart to work harder than normal. It can be an after effect of a number of diseases as well as injuries, including:

  • Coronary artery disease (heart attacks)
  • Cardiomyopathies like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Conclusion

We hope this article was helpful in understanding the risks associated with COVID-19 as well as some of the underlying conditions that may increase your risk for severe illness. If you have any questions about whether your health care provider should be aware that you have any of these conditions, please speak to him or her.

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