It’s certainly well established by now that compared to people who have no pre-existing illnesses, people with certain co-morbidities – meaning people who have other illnesses such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, certain rheumatic conditions, certain lung and kidney conditions, cancer, etc – are much more likely to get sick with COVID-19, to suffer severe cases, and to be hospitalized and certainly more likely to die.
But most of the focus on these co-morbidities has been on seniors, people over the age of 65, and especially over 80, for the obvious reason that 1) those have been the people most likely to have co-morbidities, and 2) those are the people most likely to suffer from severe COVID-19.
But an interesting new study of just under 10,000 cases that was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings has concluded that if anything, the association of severe COVID-19 with comorbidities is even stronger in young people (under age 45) than it is in elders.
In this study, “people younger than 45 had a greater than threefold increased risk of severe infection if they had cancer or heart disease, or blood, neurologic or endocrine disorders”.
So if you’re a young person in good health and you’re hesitant to get vaccinated, please remember that when you get immunized against SARS2, you are helping protect not just your grandparents and parents, but also millions of your peers who may be at much higher risk of a negative outcome than you are.