- Almost one-third of US adults ages 18-25 years have predicted medical vulnerability to severe COVID-19 illness.
- Smoking (cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes) substantially adds to the predicted risk.
Why this matters
- Risk reduction efforts might best be targeted to prevention of conventional and e-cigarette use, improved diet, and other vulnerabilities in young adults.
- Data were analyzed for 8405 young adults (50.4% male, 49.6% female).
- Demographics: 55% white, 13% Black, 22% Hispanic, 6% Asian, 4% other.
- Overall medical vulnerability: 31.5%.
- By sex: 29.7% among females vs 33.3% among males (P<.01>
- Vulnerability rate by insurance status:
- Fully insured: 30%.
- Partial-year uninsured: 40% (P<.001 vs fully>
- Full-year uninsured: 37% (P<.01 vs fully>
- Vulnerability rate for nonsmokers: 16.1% (1101/6741).
- By sex: 18.6% among females vs 13.4% among males (P<.001>
- Highest estimated rates for individual factors:
- Past 30-day smoking: 10.9%.
- Current asthma: 8.6%.
- Past 30-day e-cigarette use: 7.2%.
- Past 30-day cigar use: 4.5%.
- Across all analyses, whites had higher predicted vulnerabilities compared with Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, suggesting a role for factors other than medical vulnerability.
- Retrospective analysis, National Health Interview Survey data.
- Funding: US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Sparse data.
- Underestimated vulnerability rates for ethnic/racial groups.
- Aging data drive CDC vulnerabilities list.