75 percent of coronavirus deaths had at least 1 underlying chronic medical condition, NCDHHS data shows

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows 51.1% of North Carolinians are at high risk for severe illness from the novel coronavirus because they are 65 years old or older, have at least one chronic health condition, or both.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said those who are 65 years old and older and people with underlying health conditions including chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and immunosuppressive disorders.

In the report, health officials explained that in 2018, the last year for which data is available, 56% of North Carolinians 65 years old and older had at least one chronic health conditions. Health officials reported 42% of white North Carolinians and 45% of black North Carolinians have a chronic condition.

Additionally, health officials said as of May 4, 31% of all COVID-19 patients have a chronic condition. However, 75% of people who have died from severe complications due to COVID-19 had at least one chronic condition.

This is how North Carolina reports COVID-19 deaths

Cardiovascular disease is the most often seen chronic condition among COVID-19 patients--17% of cases and 56% of deaths had a history of the condition. While kidney disease was seen in just 4% of COVID-19 patients, 21% of the people who have died from COVID-19 had kidney disease.

CORONAVIRUS MAP: Tracking COVID-19 across North Carolina

"You can see, the risk is not just in folks that are over 65, but it exists across all ages, and we need to keep that in mind as we move forward," Cohen said. "We cannot lower our guard."

Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced his plans to begin reopening North Carolina on Friday at 5 p.m.

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