- Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease account for the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations, suggests a new study.
- Researchers estimate a 10 percent reduction in the number of people with each of these conditions could have potentially prevented about 11 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- Experts say physicians should help people manage these conditions to decrease their risk of severe COVID-19.
Certain medical conditionsTrusted Source increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Four of these account for the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations, suggests a recent study.
Researchers estimated that of the more than 900,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations that occurred in the United States through mid-November 2020, 30 percent could be attributed to obesity; 26 percent to high blood pressure; 21 percent to diabetes; and 12 percent to heart failure.
Combined, these four cardiometabolic conditions accounted for almost two-thirds of the COVID-19 hospitalizations during that period, estimate the researchers.
This suggests that if people had not had these conditions, these hospitalizations could have been prevented.
The researchers also estimate that a 10 percent reduction in the number of people with each of these conditions could have prevented about 11 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The authors believe that more should be done to help people reduce their risks from these four cardiometabolic conditions, such as through lifestyle changes like improved diet and regular physical activity.
“Our findings call for interventions to determine whether improving cardiometabolic health will reduce hospitalizations, morbidity, and health care strains from COVID-19,” said study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, in a news release.
Some of these lifestyle changes could produce noticeable health benefits within a short time.
“We know that changes in diet quality alone, even without weight loss, rapidly improve metabolic health within just six to eight weeks,” said Mozaffarian. “It’s crucial to test such lifestyle approaches for reducing severe COVID-19 infections, both for this pandemic and future pandemics likely to come.”
The study was published online February 25 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Written by Shawn Radcliffe on March 2, 2021 — Fact checked by Jennifer Chesak