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People with Certain Medical Conditions Pt. 2

Medical Conditions in Adults

  • This list is presented in alphabetical order and not in order of risk.

  • CDC completed an evidence review process for each medical condition on this list to ensure they met criteria for inclusion on this webpage.

  • We are learning more about COVID-19 every day, and this list may be updated as the science evolves.

Liver disease

Having chronic liver disease, such as alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and especially cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Get more information:

Overweight and obesity

Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2 but < 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 but < 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI of ≥40 kg/m2), can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI. Get more information:


Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Get more information:

Sickle cell disease or thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Get more information:

Smoking, current or former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start. Get more information:

Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Get more information:

Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain

Having cerebrovascular disease, such as having a stroke, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Get more information:

Substance use disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Get more information:

Information on Children and Teens

While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and some children develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions. Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Current evidence suggests that children with medical complexity, with genetic, neurologic, metabolic conditions, or with congenital heart disease can be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Similar to adults, children with obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or immunosuppression can also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. One way to protect the health of children is to ensure that all adults in a household are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Actions You Can Take

In general, the older you are, the more health conditions you have, and the more severe the conditions, the more important it is to take preventive measures for COVID-19 such as vaccination, wearing a mask , social distancing, and practicing hand hygiene. Please contact your state, tribal, local, or territorial health department for more information on COVID-19 vaccination in your area. It is important for people with medical conditions and their providers to work together and manage those conditions carefully and safely. Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. If you have a medical condition, the following are actions you can take based on your medical conditions and other risk factors:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.

  • Follow your current treatment plan (e.g., Asthma Action Plan, dialysis schedule, blood sugar testing, nutrition and exercise recommendations) to keep your medical condition under control.

  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply (i.e., more than 30 days) of prescription medicines, if possible, to reduce your trips to the pharmacy.

  • Have shelf-stable food choices available to accommodate dietary needs based on your medical condition (e.g., kidney diet and KCER 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan, diabetic diet).

  • Know the triggers for your condition and avoid when possible (e.g., avoid asthma triggers by having another member of your household clean and disinfect your house for you or avoid possible sickle cell disease triggers to prevent vaso-occlusive episodes or pain crises).

  • Learn about stress and coping. You may feel increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.

  • When possible, keep preventive care and other routine healthcare appointments (such as vaccinations and blood pressure checks) with your provider. Check with your provider about safety precautions for office visits and ask about telemedicine or remote healthcare visit options.

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