Nearly all coronavirus patients at Northwell Health had underlying condition: study

Nearly all of the coronavirus patients in New York’s largest hospital system had at least one underlying health condition, a new study shows.

Electronic health records of 5,700 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Northwell Health revealed that more than 94 percent had another disease in addition to the deadly virus.

The majority of those patients — 88 percent — had more than one preexisting illness, 6.3 percent had only one and 6.1 percent had none at all, according to the research posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The most common condition among the patients, whose median age was 63, was high blood pressure, with about 57 percent affected.

Nearly 42 percent of the patients suffered from obesity, and about 34 percent from diabetes, according to the study.

“Having serious co-morbidities increases your risk,” Karina Davidson, one of the study’s authors and senior vice president for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, part of the Northwell Health system, told Time. “This is a very serious disease with a very poor outcome for those who have severe infections from it.”

“We want patients with serious chronic disease to take a special precaution and to seek medical attention early, should they start showing signs and symptoms of being infected,” she said. “That includes knowing that they’ve been exposed to someone who has this virus.”

The study also found that 88 percent of COVID-19 patients placed on ventilators in the hospital system died of the illness.

The study also confirmed that men are more likely to die from the bug than women.

During triage, about a third of all the patients, or 1,734, had a fever, about 17 percent had a high respiratory rate and just under 30 percent needed supplemental oxygen.

On average, the patients were discharged after four days.

The Northwell Health network includes Lenox Hill on the Upper East Side, LIJ in Forest Hills and New Hyde Park, and the Staten Island University medical facilities.

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