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What is Comorbidity? – Types, Treatment, and COVID-19

Comorbidity refers to the presence of two or more illnesses or ailments at the same time or in succession. Other terms for comorbidity include co-occurring conditions, co-existing conditions, or several chronic conditions.

Comorbidities are non-communicable diseases that account for roughly two-thirds of all deaths worldwide. This equates to nearly 36 million deaths per year. High blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, stroke, and malignant illnesses are all examples of comorbidities.

What is comorbidity and its relation with COVID-19 patients?

Comorbidity is defined as the presence of two or more conditions in an individual, either concurrently or sequentially (one condition that occurs right after the other). Individuals with pre-existing comorbidities are at a considerably higher risk of COVID-19 complications. However, in order to develop effective prevention and treatment interventions, a deeper understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is required.

Based on a recent study conducted by a comprehensive clinical medicine, COVID-19 can be more severe in people with comorbidities, and in certain cases, it can lead to fatalities. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia are common lung disorders that are found in patients with hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes and cardio vascular disease.

Two or more medical conditions that manifest itself in a patient indicates that he/she has to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Compromised immune deficiency is a condition in which the patient’s ability to fight diseases is compromised or absent. This condition increases stress and anxiety, especially when a patient’s immune system begins rebuilding itself, which is also be considered as a sign of comorbidity.

Comorbidity can be related to the following factors:

  1. Poor health outcomes
  2. Complex clinical management
  3. Increased costs


What are the different types of comorbidities?

Comorbidities are a common occurrence in the following illnesses:

Obesity

Obesity is a complicated condition characterized by excess body fat. According to the Obesity Medicine Association, obesity is connected to roughly 236 medical conditions (including 13 forms of cancer).

Diabetes

The following are some of the most common diabetes-related comorbidities:

What are the symptoms of comorbidity?

The symptoms of comorbidity include:

When should you consult a doctor?

It is crucial to get medical attention when you have several comorbid conditions and you are also diagnosed with Covid-19 which may present as:

Dry cough and fever

Tiredness

Pains and aches

Conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea

Headache

Loss of smell and taste

A cutaneous rash or discoloration of the toes or fingers

Shortness of breath

Speech or movement impairment

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What causes comorbidity?

Comorbidity occurs when two disorders share or overlap risk factors. These causes are classified into three types: 

  1. One disorder effect the onset of a second disorder

Example: Continuous alcohol usage can cause cirrhosis of the liver

  • Indirect effects of one disorder effects the onset of another disorder

Example: A heart disease can arise due to the stress associated with the lifestyle changes.

  • Common causes.

Example: Traumatic life events that lead to both comorbid anxiety and mood disorders.

How do you prevent comorbidity along with COVID-19?

If you have any comorbidities, you should be cautious and avoid getting affected by COVID-19.

The methods below can help you avoid getting infected with the COVID virus.

  • Stay indoors: Corona virus spreads through droplets. Therefore, staying indoors as much as possible is recommended to avoid getting infected.
  • Disinfect public areas: The coronavirus can live on solids for 3-8 days. Clean common touchpoints like doorknobs, door handles, and automobiles on a regular basis to avoid contracting the infection.
  • Boost your immunity: The Coronavirus has primarily affected individuals with lower immunity. Maintaining consistent immunity levels is the best method to combat the illness.

A note from Apollo Hospitals

Comorbidity is linked with poor health outcomes, difficult clinical management, and higher medical costs. To effectively mitigate and manage the risks associated with comorbidities. It’s highly recommended to get a full-body check periodically to detect any signs or indicators of comorbid conditions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of a shielding strategy?

 Shielding is a practice that helps people who are at high risk of severe Covid-19 sickness live safely and separately from the rest of the population. It restricts interaction between people who are at high risk of developing serious illnesses, and members of the general public who are at a reduced risk. Shielding can occur at practically any level of a community, including the household, street or block, community, or neighborhood.

  • Is COVID-19 an extra risk for comorbid children as well?

 Children with comorbidities are prone to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms and can end in life-threatening situations. Hence, children with comorbid conditions have to take extra precautions to safeguard themselves from COVID infections.

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