Manage chronic conditions to improve Covid-19 outcomes

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted people all over the world, but those with chronic medical conditions have found themselves disproportionately affected. An underlying chronic disease may put individuals at higher risk for complications from Covid-19.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) points out that the elderly and those with certain comorbidities have been found to be at a higher risk of severe illness and death associated with Covid-19. As a result, anyone living with a chronic condition has been forced to exercise extreme caution when it comes to Covid-19.

Currently, there is limited data and information available about the impact of many underlying medical conditions on the risk for severe illness from Covid-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from SARS-CoV-2:

  • Heart disease, including high blood pressure
  • Chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine diseases, including diabetes

Staying healthy during the pandemic is important, and vaccination is a preventative measure that we can take towards this goal. It is particularly important for those at increased risk of severe illness, including older adults, to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, once eligible in line with the national rollout plan.

Talk with your healthcare provider about screening tests (also read the next article in this issue to find out more), and remember the importance of adhering to your prescribed chronic medication. Staying physically active and practicing healthy habits will also help you to cope with high stress levels during this time.