COVID-19 is a new disease and we don’t have much information about this disease or regarding risk factors. But this disease is hitting some people harder than others. Based on the studies, some people are at a higher risk of developing complications if they contract the coronavirus.
These include older adults and people having an underlying condition. Southern California medical clinic suggests that all people should take precautions to reduce their risk of catching the COVID-19.
In the beginning, scientists believed that age was the dominant factor that put people at higher risk of catching coronavirus. But with the release of new research, it has been revealed that there are some underlying conditions that can impact the severity of the disease. This is why we have seen some healthy young patients with the disease in dire straits, while some older adults have required no critical intervention. Some major underlying conditions with the highest fatality rates include heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and more. In this article, we will take a look at these major underlying conditions that make people vulnerable to a COVID-19 attack.
Hypertension, Heart Disease, And The COVID-19
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the major underlying conditions that can increase the severity of coronavirus. Almost half the population of America suffers from high blood pressure, which makes them more vulnerable to some of the more dangerous effects of the COVID-19.
It is still not very clear to experts as to why a person with poor cardiovascular health can be more vulnerable and at risk for dying from the disease. But, doctors believe that the reason could be the added strain that COVID-19 puts on the airway and lungs. This may also end up affecting the heart of the person. The airways and lungs work together with the heart to circulate the oxygen to the entire body and also drive oxygen to the body’s tissues. When the illness attacks the lungs, the heart has to work harder, which can be challenging for people who already have an underlying heart condition.
According to the American Heart Association, people having heart issues may also end up with weaker immune systems. This can increase the chance of a heart attack. Any kind of cardiovascular condition can make a patient more vulnerable to more dangerous effects of the disease from the virus. But if you have a plaque in your arteries you are especially at risk. So, it is better for people with heart conditions to take all the precautions and stay at home as much as possible.
Lung Disease And The COVID-19
People with chronic airway and lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD such as emphysema or bronchitis), asthma, interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary fibrosis are more vulnerable to the dangerous effects of the disease. This is because these diseases can make the lungs weaker when it comes to fighting off a respiratory infection.
Coronavirus travels through the body and attacks the lungs. And the infection causes scarring and inflammation in the lungs’ lining, inflammation in the air sacs at the bottom of the lungs, and irritation in the nerves around the lining of lungs. If the lungs are filled up with fluid, it can lead to pneumonia. This is why it is advised that people should not smoke as that too can cause the lugs to weaken and diminish their ability to fight off a respiratory disease like the coronavirus.
Diabetes And The COVID-19
People who have diabetes are at higher risk of getting sick from coronavirus. You must have heard that a few weeks ago, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were also tested positive for the COVID-19. Tom Hanks also has Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, both can increase the blood sugar. And this can make viral diseases, such as the COVID-19, more dangerous. Higher blood glucose levels create an environment for viruses to thrive. Also, people who have diabetes also have weaker immune systems, and it can also increase inflammation. This makes it even more difficult for such people to fight off the disease in general.
People who have diabetes should follow their medication regimen. They should pay even more attention to everything they can to keep their blood sugar under control. Staying in close touch with their doctor and keeping an adequate amount of medications is important for them.
Chronic Liver Disease And The COVID-19
Chronic liver disease is also one of the most common underlying conditions that makes people more vulnerable to coronavirus. 3.1 percent of the patients who died in Italy due to the COVID-19 had chronic liver disease.
The risk is even higher for people who are on immune-suppressing medications after receiving a liver transplant. So, it is important for them to consult and interact with their doctors before changing or stopping any medication regimen.
It is not clear right now, how exactly COVID-19 affects the liver, but even the people who have healthy organs may be at risk for some damage to their livers because of the disease.
5. Severe Obesity And The COVID-19
Severe obesity is a big problem for doctors while helping coronavirus patients. Severe obesity can increase your problems when it comes to coronavirus. It can put you at a higher risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a serious breathing problem. It is a major complication of the COVID-19 and makes it difficult for doctors to provide respiratory support for seriously ill patients.
People with severe obesity can have multiple serious underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of more dangerous effects of coronavirus.
Prevention Guidelines For Everyone
Whether you are at a higher risk or not, you must take every step to protect yourself and your close ones from catching or spreading coronavirus. Anyone can catch this disease, whether they have any underlying conditions or not, including older people, young adults, and even children. So, it is important for you to protect yourself by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and following other guidelines issued by the government such as wearing a mask. These steps are important to protect yourself from the disease.