David Gee (Food Science and Nutrition), Nicole Stendell-Hollis (Nutrition), Susan Hawk (Nutrition)
Individuals with underlying comorbidities and multimorbidity may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19. The purpose of this study is to quantify the prevalence of medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 infections using conditions the CDC identified that show sufficient evidence of this association. These results will provide a context for the extent of the U.S. adult population at risk for complications from COVID-19. A total of 10,530 subjects ages ≥20 were used from NHANES data cycles 2015-2018. Underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes were quantified. The most common comorbidities included hypertension (49% n=5551), obesity (40.7% n=4270), and type 2 diabetes (13.6%, n=1,886). Of the 10,530 subjects, 5,252 (45.2% ±1.1) have two or more COVID risk factors. After stratifying by age group, sex, and race/ethnicity, the prevalence of multimorbidity (≥2 risk factors) was highest among males, adults ≥60 years and non-Hispanic Black adults; Age group (≥60: [67.2%±1.3]; 40-59: [46.1%±1.67]; 20-39: [26%±1.33]; P<0.0001) Sex (males: [47% ±1.63]; females: [43.4%±1.24]; P<0.021) Race/Ethnicity (Non-Hispanic Black: [51.3%]; non-Hispanic White: [46.7%]; Mexican American: [40.9%]; Non-Hispanic Asian: [27.5%]; Other race-including multi-racial: [42.8%] P<0.0001). The results of this study indicate that almost half the population has multimorbidity and HTN. Consistent with the literature, non-Hispanic Blacks, males, and adults ≥60 years may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 due to higher multimorbidity prevalence. Keywords: "Multimorbidity", "COVID-19", "NHANES"