Background: The surge in the COVID-19 related hospitalization has been straining the US health system. COVID-19 patients with underlying chronic conditions have a disproportionately higher risk of hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. We developed a retrospective analytical model of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and ICU admissions linked to each of the three major chronic conditions – hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Methods: Based on the differential probability of hospitalization of the COVID-19 patients with and without a chronic condition, we estimate a baseline cumulative hospitalization rate and ICU admission rate using the population level chronic condition prevalence from the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Next, we estimate the hospitalization and ICU admission rates under an alternative scenario of a lower prevalence of the same chronic condition, aligned with the World Health Organization target of 25% relative reduction of prevalence by 2025. We then compare the outcomes of the baseline and the alternative scenarios. Results: We estimate that the lower prevalence of hypertension would have lowered the cumulative hospitalization and ICU admission rates by more than 2.5%. The lower prevalence of diabetes and CVD would lower the cumulative hospitalization rate by 0.6% and 1.4% respectively. The decrease in the rates would have been relatively higher among Black and elderly (age 55+). Conclusions: Our model, thus, provides evidence on the importance of prevention, control, and management of chronic conditions to lessen the overwhelming financial and public health burden on the health system during a pandemic like the COVID-19.
- Chronic conditions
- ICU admission
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health