July 14, 2024

Holistic Pulse

Healthcare is more important

People with Certain Medical Conditions

5 min read

Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

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Chronic kidney disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Chronic liver disease

Having chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).

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Chronic lung diseases

Having a chronic lung disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic lung diseases can include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
  • Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease affecting newborns)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

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Cystic fibrosis

Having cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant (like kidney, liver, intestines, heart, and pancreas) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Dementia or other neurological conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Disabilities

People with some types of disabilities may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities, including:

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Heart conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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HIV infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Immunocompromised condition or weakened immune system

Some people are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system because of a medical condition or a treatment for a condition. This includes people who have cancer and are on chemotherapy, or who have had a solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant, and are taking medication to keep their transplant. Other people have to use certain types of medicines for a long time, like corticosteroids, that weaken their immune system. One example is called primary immunodeficiency. Being immunocompromised can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 or be sick for a longer period of time.

People who are immunocompromised or are taking medicines that weaken their immune system may not be protected even if they are up to date on their vaccines. Talk with your healthcare provider about what additional precautions may be necessary when respiratory viruses are causing a lot of illness in your community. Additionally, people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine. Because the immune response following COVID-19 vaccination may differ in people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, specific guidance has been developed.

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Mental health conditions

Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Overweight and obesity

Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) is 25 kg/m2 or higher, but under 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI is 30 kg/m2 or higher, but under 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI is 40 kg/m2 or higher), can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases sharply with higher BMI.

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Physical inactivity

People who do little or no physical activity are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active. Being physically active is important to being healthy. Get more information on physical activity and health, physical activity recommendations, how to become more active, and how to create activity-friendly communities:

Pregnancy

Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

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Sickle cell disease or thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease or thalassemia (inherited red blood cell disorders) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Smoking, current or former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.

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Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Stroke or cerebrovascular disease

Having cerebrovascular disease, such as having a stroke which affects blood flow to the brain, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Substance use disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Tuberculosis

Having tuberculosis (TB) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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