COVID-19 & comorbidities in Italy
Italian healthcare data released by the ISS on COVID-19 includes some quite extraordinary data on comorbidities in COVID-19 positive deceased patients in Italy up to 26 March 2020. 98% of COVID-19 positive deaths were recorded with at least 1 comorbidity. Over half had 3 or more comorbidities. Hypertension was recorded in 74% of cases. Diabetes, Ischemic heart disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Renal Failure and Active Cancer in the last 5 years were the next 5 largest comorbidities. This data supports that reported out of Wuhan which ranked Hypertension, Diabetes and Chronic heart disease as its top 3 comorbidities. The presence of a comorbidity does not mean the deceased was going to die at that point in time anyway. When all cause mortality data is released in Italy, we would expect there to be a statistically significant increase in death rates. As the prospects of an easy exit strategy from lockdown/stay-at-home fade ever further away and the economic and mental health damage spirals up, getting more data on this area is going to be essential.