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High Risk Health Problems

There are many high-risk health problems that can make a COVID-19 illness more serious. And as experts learn more about COVID-19, more health problems or conditions may be added to the list.

High-risk health problems may include:

  • Age.
    • Babies born premature or who are less than 1 year old may be at high risk.
    • The risk also increases with age. Older adults are at highest risk.
  • Asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other chronic lung disease.
  • Vaping or smoking or having a history of smoking.
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure.
  • HIV.
  • A weakened immune system or taking medicines (such as steroids) that suppress the immune system.
  • Cancer or getting treatment for cancer.
  • Neurologic conditions or diseases that involve the nerves and brain, such as a stroke, dementia, or cerebral palsy.
  • Being overweight (obesity).
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Substance use disorders.
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Pregnancy or a recent pregnancy.
  • Genetic, metabolic, or neurologic problems in children. This includes children who may have many health problems that affect many body systems. These problems may limit how well the child can do routine activities of daily life.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Mood disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia.

Current as of: March 26, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine

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