People with Certain Medical Conditions


If you or your family member are at high risk for severe illness, wear a mask or respirator with greater protection in public indoor spaces if you are in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level. Talk with your healthcare provider about wearing a mask in a medium COVID-19 Community Level.


If you test positive for COVID-19 and have one or more health conditions that increase your risk of becoming very sick, treatment may be available. Contact a health professional right away after a positive test to determine if you may be eligible, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.


This information is intended for a general audience. Healthcare professionals should see Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 for more detailed information.

What You Need To Know

  • A person with any of the medical conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. If you have one of these conditions, talk with your healthcare provider about how best to protect yourself from severe illness from COVID-19.

  • The list below does not include all possible conditions that put you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about a condition not included on this list, talk to your healthcare provider about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.

  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on the list below.

  • Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines (primary series and booster) are safe and effective.

  • Some people who are immunocompromised, or people with weakened immune systems, may be eligible for an additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Overview

Based on the current evidence, a person with any of the conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. This means that a person with one or more of these conditions who gets very sick from COVID-19 (has severe illness from COVID-19) is more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized

  • Need intensive care

  • Require a ventilator to help them breathe

  • Die

In addition:

  • Older adults are at highest risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. More than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65. The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 97 times higher than the number of deaths among people ages 18-29 years.

  • A person’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases as the number of underlying medical conditions they have increases.

  • Some people are at increased risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19 because of where they live or work, or because they can’t get health care. This includes many people from racial and ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities.

  • Studies have shown people from racial and ethnic minority groups are also dying from COVID-19 at younger ages. People in racial and ethnic minority groups are often younger when they develop chronic medical conditions and may be more likely to have more than one medical condition.

  • People with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to have chronic health conditions, live in shared group (also called “congregate”) settings, and face more barriers in accessing health care. Studies have shown that some people with certain disabilities are more likely to get COVID-19 and have worse outcomes.


Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on this list. Learn more about how CDC develops COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. If you have a medical condition, learn more about Actions You Can Take.


Medical Conditions

  • The conditions on this list are in alphabetical order. They are not in order of risk.

  • CDC completed a review for each medical condition on this list. This was done to ensure that these conditions met criteria for inclusion on this list. CDC conducts ongoing reviews of additional underlying conditions. If other medical conditions have enough evidence, they might be added to the list.

  • Because we are learning more about COVID-19 every day, this list does not include all medical conditions that place a person at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Rare medical conditions, including many conditions that mostly affect children, may not be included on the list below. We will update the list as we learn more.

  • A person with a condition that is not listed may still be at greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 than other people who do not have the condition. It is important that you talk with your healthcare professional about your risk.


Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

Get more information:

  • Cancer

  • COVID-19: What People with Cancer Should Know – National Cancer Institute

Chronic kidney disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • National Kidney Foundation: Kidney disease and COVID-19external icon

Chronic liver disease

Having chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).

Get more information:

  • Liver Disease

  • American Liver Foundation: Your Liver & COVID-19external icon

Chronic lung diseases

Having a chronic lung disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic lung diseases can include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe

  • Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease affecting newborns)

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis

  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)

  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)

  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

Get more information:

  • COPD

  • Asthma

  • People with Moderate to Severe Asthma

  • American Lung Association: Controlling Chronic Lung Diseases Amid COVID-19 external icon

Cystic Fibrosis

Having cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant (like kidney, liver, intestines, heart, and pancreas) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • CF and Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (cff.org)external icon

Dementia or other neurological conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Association: COVID-19, Alzheimer’s and Dementia external icon

Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Diabetes

  • American Diabetes Association: How COVID-19 Impacts People with Diabetes

Disabilities

People with some types of disabilities may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities, including:

  • People with any type of disability that makes it more difficult to do certain activities or interact with the world around them, including people who need help with self-care or daily activities

  • People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • People with cerebral palsy

  • People with birth defects

  • People with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • People with learning disabilities

  • People with spinal cord injuries

  • People with Down syndrome

Get more information:

  • People with Disabilities | COVID-19

Heart conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Heart Disease

  • American Heart Association: COVID-19external icon

  • NHLBI Information & Resources on COVID-19external icon

HIV infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • HIV Infection

  • Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV


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