Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found out that coronavirus patients with underlying conditions were more likely to suffer major complications.
The CDC looked at data from 1.7 million cases reported to the federal health agency between January 22 and May 30 and found out that those with pre-existing health issues were six times more likely to be hospitalized. Worse, coronavirus patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and lung disease were 12 times more likely to die.
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are most common underlying health conditions
About 287,320 of the cases studied were on individuals with pre-existing health conditions. The most common underlying health conditions were cardiovascular disease, diabetes and lung disease. About 32 percent had cardiovascular disease, 30 percent had diabetes and nearly 20 percent had lung disease. (Related: Obesity and other serious health conditions are allowing the coronavirus to kill more Americans.)
Less common chronic conditions included liver disease, immunocompromised illnesses and neurological disabilities.
Male patients were slightly more likely than female patients to have underlying issues, but not enough to be statistically significant.
Hospitalizations were six times higher among patients with pre-existing conditions, with 45.4 percent hospitalized compared to 7.6 percent who didn’t have any. The number of admissions to intensive care units (ICU) was highest among those with underlying conditions in the 70-to-79 age bracket at 12 percent followed by those in the 60-to-69 age bracket at 11 percent.
Deaths were 12 times higher on patients with reported underlying conditions at 19.5 percent compared to those without reported conditions at 1.6 percent. Fatalities were most common among those aged 80 and above regardless of pre-existing conditions, but about 50 percent of all deaths in that age group were with a chronic health illness.
The CDC said doctors and other healthcare providers should pay close attention to patients with underlying conditions so that they won’t become severely ill.
“Surveillance at all levels of government, and its continued modernization, is critical for monitoring COVID-19 trends and identifying groups at risk for infection and severe outcomes,” the authors of the research wrote.
“These findings highlight the continued need for community mitigation strategies.”
When the results of the study came out in June last year, the United States had two million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 115,000 deaths. Several mask mandates and lockdowns later, the coronavirus cases were still rising and the coronavirus deaths were still mounting.
As of this writing, there are already 30.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country and more than 550,000 deaths. The so-called “community mitigation strategies” implemented by the government and health officials during the pandemic were not good enough. Or, maybe, their strategies were simply wrong.
Lockdowns are not the answer
Instead of confining people at home, it may be a better idea to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid developing illnesses.
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the most common pre-existing health conditions among the coronavirus patients studied in the CDC research. They are both avoidable, but imposing community lockdowns is not going to cut it. In fact, lockdowns may actually exacerbate the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. The four main types of cardiovascular disease are coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease.
On the other hand, diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. But with diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.
These two health conditions go hand in hand.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has been strongly associated with insulin resistance.
Weight loss can lessen cardiovascular risk, decrease insulin concentration and increase insulin sensitivity. But during lockdowns, people tend to eat more and most of the time the foods readily available under these circumstances are not exactly good for the health – canned goods, junk foods, chocolates, etc. In other words, lockdowns promote obesity.
Physical inactivity is another modifiable major risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Exercising and losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure and help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.
People can exercise at home, but lockdowns generally make them lazy. Sports activities are prohibited during lockdowns, making physical activities less appealing and much less fun to many.
Lockdowns affect people’s lives negatively in many other ways and they all lead to an obvious conclusion: Lockdown is not the answer to the pandemic. (Related: Fauci admits there is no science behind a continued lockdown.)
Government and health officials must encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, more people will likely develop health conditions and be at risk of suffering major complications from coronavirus.
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