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CDC: Obesity among conditions that up risk of severe COVID-19 disease :

June 26, 2020

Editor's note:For the latest news on COVID-19, visit

In a briefing Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its list of underlying conditions that may increase the risk of illness from COVID-19 and reminded the public to take precautions as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.

Children who have medically complex conditions, who have neurologic, genetic or metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Underlying conditions that put people at higher risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19 — regardless of age and based on recent evidence — are the following: serious cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease such as emphysema, obesity (body mass index of 30 or higher), immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Conditions that might increase risk include other chronic lung diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system that may occur in people after blood or bone marrow transplant,  HIV infections, or use of immune-weakening medicines, dementia, type 1 diabetes mellitus, liver disease and pregnancy.

A Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published today compares data on pregnant and nonpregnant women (see

Health officials also are reminding the public to keep up precautions during the holiday and emphasized that young people are not immune to the virus.

“As we move forward and make personal decisions about how to go about our lives, it’s important for all of us to continue to take steps that we know are effective for preventing COVID-19, CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., said in the briefing. “Everyone can take these steps to protect families and communities, and it’s particularly important for people at higher risk and those who live with and care for individuals at higher risk.”

Precautions include social distancing, frequent handwashing and hand hygiene, staying away from others if you are ill, and wearing a face covering when you are unable to social distance.

About 60% of U.S. adults have at least one chronic condition, and obesity is one of the most common, affecting 40% of adults. The more underlying conditions a person has, the higher the risk, according to the CDC.

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