What Are The Risk Factors That Trigger Severe COVID-19 Complications?

There are many risk factors that can trigger severe Covid-19 illness and further complications. Read this article to know about these aspects. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: May 05, 2021Updated at: May 09, 2021
What Are The Risk Factors That Trigger Severe COVID-19 Complications?

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly all over the world and India is fighting a huge battle currently due to the second wave of Coronavirus. The symptoms of this infection can vary widely from one person to the other. Some people experience no symptoms at all, while others have severe signs that they eventually require medical help in breathing. The risk of developing server symptoms of COVID-19 can be high in people who are older and also in people of any age who have other serious medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, weakened immune system, obesity, or diabetes. This is similar to what is seen in people with other respiratory problems  such as influenza. 

While all of these risk factors can increase the chances of getting severe COVID-19 complications, people other health problems are also at a higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid. All the adults and even children can catch COVID-19 infection. However, it most commonly affects middle-aged and older adults. The risk of having severe symptoms of COVID-19 increases with age and people who are age 85 and older are at the highest risk of serious symptoms. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Praveen Chandra, Chairman - Interventional & Structural Heart Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta - The Medicity, about the risk factors that trigger severe Covid-19 complications. 

Risk factors for severe Covid-19 illness 

Coronavirus can be contracted by anyone  and this infection can cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe, which is the varying factor in every individual. Due to some other illnesses and medical conditions, some people are more likely to have severe illness due to this infection than others. According to Dr. Praveen,here are the main risk factors for severe Covid-19 complications: 

1. Diabetes 


Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can put you at high risk of serious COVID-19 illness. Severe obesity also increases the risk of severe Covid complications. Diabetes and obesity both decrease the power of an individual's immune system. Diabetes increases the risk of infections in general. This risk factor can be managed by keeping blood sugar levels controlled and taking your diabetes medications and insulin as and when directed.

2. Heart disease

Another risk factor for severe Covid complications is having a heart disease. Many types of heart disease can make you more likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms. And, these problems include cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease, heart failure and coronary artery disease. You have to keep taking your medicines on time as prescribed by the healthcare expert. If you have high blood pressure levels, then also you may be at a greater risk, especially if you do not control the levels or are not taking the medications as directed. 

Also read: Inflammation Is The Key Risk Factor For Coronavirus, Doctor Explains Different Aspects

3. Down syndrome 

People with dementia are more likely to develop lung disease completely and are therefore more susceptible to COVID-19. There is also a risk of developing many health problems associated with the development of negative COVID-19 symptoms, such as heart disease, insomnia, obesity, and diabetes. Most adults with dementia live in nursing homes where it is more difficult to avoid infection from other residents and staff. Down's syndrome also affects cognitive function, so it may be more difficult for this population to follow preventative measures.

4. Cancer


Cancer is also a huge risk factors that leads to severe COVID-19 complications. Cancer patients are more sensitive than the rest of the population. This risk may vary from person to person, depending on the type of cancer and the kind of treatment you are getting. Another inherited blood disease, called thalassemia can also put you at a greater risk of getting severe COVID-19 symptoms if contracted. In thalassemia, the body is not able to produce enough hemoglobin and this affects on how well the red blood cells can transport oxygen.

5. Chronic liver or kidney disease 

Chronic liver or kidney disease can also cause weakening of the immune system, which then puts you at a higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19. In fact, having serious COVID-19 symptoms and taking medications to treat the disease can leave a negative impact on the liver. If you are on dialysis for chronic kidney disease, it is important to take all the sessions and you have to tell the doctor if not feeling well.

6. Lung problems

COVID-19 mainly has a negative impact on the lungs, so you are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms from this virus if you already have existing lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis and moderate to severe asthma. While some medications for these conditions can even weaken your immune system, so it is important to take the maintenance medications to keep symptoms as controlled as possible. You can talk to your doctor about getting an emergency supply of prescription medications, such as asthma inhalers. You can also try and avoid the triggers of asthma attacks and these factors are different in every patient. 

Also read: There Are More Than 25 Symptoms of Long COVID-19, Know All Of Them

lung problems

7. Weakened immune system 

A strong immune system helps in combating any incoming infections. However, many medical conditions and treatments can weaken your immune system, such as organ transplants, cancer treatments, bone marrow transplant and HIV/AIDS. Long-term usage of prednisone or similar drugs can also weaken your immune system. If you have a weak immunity, then you should take extra precautions to avoid the virus that causes Covid infection. Regular doctor appointments or even consulting an expert from home can help in understanding it in a better way. You can even take the prescription for medicines online. 

Also read: Dr Vikas Maurya Talks About The Severe Symptoms Of COVID-19

So, these were the main risk factors that can trigger severe COVID-19 complications by Dr. Praveen Chandra. You should call your doctor if you have any queries about the relationship between your health conditions and COVID-19 or if you feel ill. Meanwhile, many additional researches are going on about other risk factors of Covid-19 that can be altered, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. If the risk factor is controllable, then an individual should take care of the same and be cautious. 

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