Knowledge is Power: Corona Virus Data & Your Risk

  • June 22, 2020

After looking at the research, the data regarding Corona Virus and mortality (rate of death) is challenging to understand. Because many cases are asymptomatic and worldwide testing methods are not standardized, the true mortality rate is really unknown. 

Covid-19 is highly contagious, but the severity of the infection varies greatly among individuals. Recent data points to underlying health conditions as a potentially important contributor for individuals to develop a more severe Covid-19 case. In fact, individuals with at least one underlying health condition or risk factor had higher rates of hospitalization and ICU admission (1).

What are those health conditions?

The most common underlying health issues that put individuals at risk include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking, and obesity (2,3). 

Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of five biometric metrics that is highly predictive of an individual’s current diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension risk status. Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome have compromised immune function, less immunity from infection, and decreased vaccine efficacy (3). 

Taken together, it is clear that those with obesity and/or metabolic syndrome risk factors are at higher risk for:

  • Compromised immune function 
  • Decreased vaccine efficiency 
  • Increased likelihood for hospitalization from Covid-19
  • More severe cases of Covid-19 

We are all searching for ways to decrease our risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 and, if we are infected, we want to have good odds of surviving with minimal issues. 

The good news is that you can take control of your risk and take steps to improve your immune function and decrease your risk of severe Covid-19. By understanding, if you have underlying health conditions, you can take steps to improve these conditions and decrease your risks.

Written By Carrie Company


  1. Preliminary Estimates of the Prelevance of Selected Underlying Health Conditions Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 – United States, February 12-March 28, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep; 69:382-386, 2020. 
  2. COVID-19 Surveillance Group. Characteristics of COVID-19 patients dying in Italy: report based on available data on March 20th, 2020. Rome, Italy: Instituto Superiore Di Sanita; 2020. 
  3. Lighter J, Phillips M, Hochman S, Sterling S, Johnson D, Francois F, Stachel A. Obesity in patients younger than 60 years is a risk factor for Covid-19 hospital admission. Clinical Infectious Diseases; ciaa 415, 2020. 
  4. Andersen CH, Murphy KE, and Fernandez ML. Impact of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome on immunity. Adv Nutrition; 7:77-75, 2016