Coronavirus Facts: Health Conditions That Put You At Risk

Older adults are advised to stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of their higher risk of contracting the virus. But age is not the only factor that increases people’s chances of getting the novel coronavirus. 

Some conditions that affect millions of people worldwide may give the virus better access to the body. These health problems could also lead to serious complications linked to COVID-19. 

“There is a good chance that even those who have underlying health conditions will make a full recovery from the virus,” Amir Khan, an NHS doctor and a senior university lecturer in the United Kingdom, said in an article posted on Al Jazeera. “But they are at increased risk of complications such as shortness of breath, pneumonia, and in some cases, needing a machine and intensive hospital treatment to help them breathe.”

Initial studies show that people with diabetes are more likely to develop complications and require intensive hospital care. Having heart diseases or lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could also contribute to the negative effects of COVID-19. 

Understanding Existing Diseases And COVID-19


Estimates show that diabetes affects 415 million people worldwide. The disease increases the bad effects of COVID-19 because higher levels of blood sugar could harm the immune system. 

The weaker system then loses capability to fight off infection. That allows viruses to infect the body and cause complications. 

Heart Problems

People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 complications because of problems with how the heart pumps blood around the body. Khan recommended taking prescribed medications, eating healthy food and more physical activity to keep the heart in good condition, which also works with the immune system.  

Lung Conditions

Khan said people with asthma or COPD should talk to their healthcare provider if they have been using reliever inhalers more than two or three times per week. It may indicate that their background lung health became worse and is not under control. 

Poor background lung health could increase the risk of COVID-19 complications, such as severe respiratory problems and even pneumonia.

heartache A health expert said having heart diseases or lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could contribute to the negative effects of COVID-19. Pixabay