Risk factors for severe COVID-19

COVID-19 can make anyone sick, but some people have a higher chance of getting very sick.

You may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 if:

  • You are not fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19
  • You are 65 or older
  • You are overweight or obese
  • You have ever smoked or vaped regularly
  • You are pregnant

Or if you have any of these health conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung disease, including asthma that needs an inhaler or other medicine
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia or other neurological condition
  • Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart condition, including high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised or weakened immune system
  • Mental health condition
  • On dialysis
  • Organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Stroke or other cerebrovascular disease
  • Substance use disorder
  • Thalassemia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Use of prescription steroids or immune weakening medicines

If you have a higher chance of getting very sick from COVID-19, there are things you can do to take care of yourself.

Ways to take care of yourself:

  • Limit your in-person activities. When you do an in-person activity, use SAFER COVID-19 to find ways to lower your chance of getting COVID-19.
  • Avoid being around people who are sick, or who have been around someone with COVID-19.
  • If you care for children, limit their in-person activities.
  • Continue to take any regular medicines. Have at least a 30-day supply of all your medicines. You can ask about getting an extra supply of medicine so you don’t have to go to the pharmacy as often.
  • If you get sick and think you might have COVID-19, call your doctor right away. If you don’t have a doctor, call a community health center or health department.
  • If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital. Do not wait to get emergency care because you are worried about COVID-19. Emergency departments have ways to protect people.

More information from CDC about underlying medical conditions