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What Increases Your Risk of Serious Illness?

Anyone can get COVID-19. But as with other respiratory infections, older adults and those with existing health conditions are more likely to become seriously ill. Groups at increased risk of needing to go to the hospital or dying from COVID-19 include:

❱❱ Adults who are 65 or older

❱❱ People living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities

❱❱ People with existing:

  • Heart conditions
  • Lung disease (COPD, moderate to severe asthma)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Illnesses that lower the immune system’s ability to fight infection, for example people undergoing cancer treatments or bone marrow or organ transplants (some medications can do this too)

But experts are still learning about COVID-19. Other medical conditions might also increase your risk, for example moderate-to-severe asthma or being overweight. Research shows that people who smoke may have severe complications from COVID-19 as well. 

It appears that while some people may be more susceptible to severe forms of the infection, even healthy and younger people are still at risk. 

  • Last Edited 02/11/2021