The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated and expanded its list of people at severe risk of the CCP virus on June 25.
“Understanding who is most at risk for severe illness helps people make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield in a statement.
The update was made to the existing two wide categories of older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.
“Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk for severe illness, but now CDC has further defined age- and condition-related risks,” noted the CDC.
Redfield said the expansion of the list will help to take “appropriate measures” to protect people’s health and well being.
Updates to Age-related List
The CDC had previously said that those above 65 years of age are at an increased risk of the infection, however, in the updated list the federal agency has removed the age-related threshold from the older adult classification.
“CDC now warns that among adults, the risk increases steadily as you age, and it’s not just those over the age of 65 who are at increased risk for severe illness,” said the CDC.
The recent data analysis has shown that older people are at a higher risk of the CCP virus infection.
“Age is an independent risk factor for severe illness, but the risk in older adults is also in part related to the increased likelihood that older adults also have underlying medical conditions,” said the CDC.
Updates Linked to Underlying Medical Conditions
The CDC added to its list of underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of people catching the CCP virus, regardless of their age.
The list now includes: chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), obesity (BMI of 30 or higher), immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from a solid organ transplant, serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathy, sickle cell disease, and type-2 diabetes.
“These changes increase the number of people who fall into higher-risk groups. An estimated 60 percent of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition. Obesity is one of the most common underlying conditions that increases one’s risk for severe illness–with about 40 percent of U.S. adults having obesity. The more underlying medical conditions people have, the higher their risk,” said the CDC.
The federal agency also included a list of medical conditions that “might” increase the risk.
“CDC also clarified the list of other conditions that might increase a person’s risk of severe illness, including additions such as asthma, high blood pressure, neurologic conditions such as dementia, cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and pregnancy,” it said.