People with kidney disease face THREE-FOLD higher risks of dying from COVID-19


People with kidney disease face THREE-FOLD higher risks of dying from COVID-19 compared to healthy patients – and having heart disease or high blood pressure DOUBLES mortality risk

  • Researchers compared hospitalized coronavirus patients with pre-existing conditions tot hose without underlying health issues
  • Coronavirus patients with diabetes or cancer were 1.5 times more likely to die than those without the conditions
  • Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or congestive heart failure were twice as likely to die
  • COVID-19 patients in the hospital with chronic kidney disease, who were three times more likely to die

Some pre-existing conditions may severely increase the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus, a new study suggests. 

Researchers found that having underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease can increase the risk of death from COVI9-19 from 1.5-fold to three-fold compared to healthy patients.

The team, from Penn State University College of Medicine, says the findings could help clinicians know which patients to watch closely and help health officials develop interventions to target high-risk populations.

A new hospital from Penn State University found hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or congestive heart failure were twice as likely to die. Pictured: A healthcare worker tends to a patient in the COVID-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, July 2

A new hospital from Penn State University found hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or congestive heart failure were twice as likely to die. Pictured: A healthcare worker tends to a patient in the COVID-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, July 2

‘This study suggests that these chronic conditions are not just common in patients with COVID-19, but their presence is a warning sign to a higher risk of death,’ said Paddy Ssentongo, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the College of Medicine.

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‘There is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and hypertension around the world and in particular, the US. With the persistence of COVID-19 in the US, this connection becomes crucially important.’

For the study, published in PLOS One, the team conducted a review of studies published between December 2019 and July 2020.

They looked at 11 pre-existing conditions that pose a risk of severe illness and death for COVID-19 patients.

These included: asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and stroke. 

Data was analyzed from more than 65,000 patients worldwide with an average age of 61. 

In comparison with hospitalized COVID-19 patients without pre-existing conditions, underlying health problems greatly raised the risk fo death. 

Coronavirus patients with diabetes or cancer were 1.5 times more likely to die than those without the conditions.  

Meanwhile, hospitalized COVID-19 patients with either cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or congestive heart failure were twice as likely to die.

The highest risk was for coronavirus patients in the hospital with chronic kidney disease who were three times more likely to die. 

‘Although the health care community has circulated anecdotal information about the impact of these risk factors in COVID-19 mortality, our systematic review and meta-analysis is the most comprehensive to date that attempts to quantify the risk,’ said senior author Dr Vernon Chinchilli, professor and chair of public health sciences.

‘As the COVID-19 pandemic continues through 2020 and likely into 2021, we expect that other researchers will build on our work.’ 

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For future research, the team hopes to study how factors such as race and ethnicity effect COVID-19 survival rates.

However, they add that the findings can help lead to prevention and treatment strategies for those are high-risk.



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