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AMA study suggests hypertension, obesity, diabetes common underlying issues in coronavirus patients

Researchers said they conducted the study, in hard-hit New York City area, to help officials elsewhere treat patients

New York hospital officials unload donated coronavirus supplies.
Steve Pfost/Newsday via Getty Images
Updated: April 23, 2020 - 10:20am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


A recently released American Medical Association study suggests that hypertension, obesity and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Researchers said they conducted the study to help officials worldwide get a better understanding of the “characteristics and outcomes” of coronavirus patients.

“Limited information has been available to describe the presenting characteristics and outcomes of U.S. patients requiring hospitalization with this illness,” said researchers in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 5,700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City region, which has had one of the highest infection rates in the world. 

Beyond finding the most common comorbidities were hypertension, obesity and diabetes, the study found that 14.2% of those who were discharged or died were treated in an intensive care unit. Roughly 12% received invasive-mechanical ventilation, 3.2% were treated with kidney-replacement therapy and 21% died.

The study, released Wednesday, looked at patients from 12 hospitals in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County that were part of the Northwell Health system. The study essentially went from March 1 to April 4.