- Roughly 1.7 billion people (22%) worldwide have an underlying condition that is linked to increased risk for severe COVID-19.
Why this matters
- CDC case surveillance data show that underlying conditions are linked to a >12-fold increased mortality risk with COVID-19.
- The findings suggest a need for targeted mitigation strategies.
- ~1.7 billion or 22% persons worldwide have >1 underlying condition increasing severe COVID-19 risk, with an uncertainty interval (UI) of 1.0-2.4 billion.
- 0.4 billion (6%) have >2, with a UI of 0.2-0.7 billion.
- Underlying comorbidity prevalence by age:
- 10% by age 25 years,
- 33% by 50 years, and
- 66% by 70 years.
- 23% (UI, 15%-29%) of the working population (ages 15-65 years) have >1 comorbidity.
- Men were ~2 times likelier than women to carry high risk (all ages
- Overall, 349 (UI, 186-282) million or 4% (3%-9%) are at high risk for severe COVID-19 and likely to be hospitalized.
- Although regional variations occur, demographics mostly drive population risk on the African continent and in small island nations.
- Modeling analysis assessing global, regional, national estimates of persons at increased risk for severe COVID-19 by age, sex, country (n=188) because of underlying medical conditions.
- Funding: UK Department for International Development; others.
- Confounding bias potential.