Multiple underlying medical conditions putting affected people at higher risk of severe disease and death.
Patients with two or more underlying medical conditions at the same time are said to have comorbid diseases. They are more likely to experience severe or acute COVID-19 and are more likely to need oxygen (O2) or ventilator support. The presence of other diseases in a patient with COVID-19 significantly increases the risk of death. The majority of people who die from COVID-19 have pre-existing conditions, and the more comorbidities they suffer from, the poorer the outcome. The most common comorbidities that worsen the outcome for patients with COVID-19 are hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and obesity.
A large number of patients with comorbidities may pose a challenge for health systems, because there may not be enough ICU beds or resources to meet their needs.