Emergency department visits by adults with chronic conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness: United States, 2017–2019
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Emergency department visits by adults with chronic conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness: United States, 2017–2019

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      Objective—This report describes emergency department (ED) visits made by adults with selected chronic conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness.

      Methods—Estimates in this report are based on data collected in the 2017–2019 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Sample data were weighted to produce annual national estimates. Patient characteristics, including age, sex, expected source of payment, medication prescriptions, and hospital admission status, are presented by number of chronic conditions. Selected chronic conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness include Alzheimer disease or dementia, asthma, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, hypertension, obesity, pulmonary embolism, and substance use disorders.

      Results—For 2017–2019, 59.5% of ED visits made by adults were among those with one or more chronic conditions. The percentage of ED visits made by adults with three or more chronic conditions was highest among those aged 45–64. Medicare was the most frequently observed expected source of payment among adults with three

      or more chronic conditions. The percentage of ED visits that resulted in a hospital admission increased with the number of chronic conditions. Overall, hypertension was the most frequently observed chronic condition (33.8% of ED visits by adults) and hypertension and diabetes was the most frequently observed dyad, or pair (33.2% of ED visits by adults with at least two chronic conditions).

      Conclusion—Patients with at least one chronic condition made up 59.5% of adult ED visits. These data provide national estimates of ED visits by the number and type of chronic conditions in the adult population pre-COVID-19. Given that the presence of chronic conditions increases the risk of hospital admission among patients with COVID-19, these data may represent a useful baseline to quantify prevalence and association of chronic conditions associated with COVID-19 with hospitalization experience and outcomes.

      Suggested citation: Santo L, Ashman JJ, Xu J. Emergency department visits by adults with chronic conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness: United States, 2017–2019. National Health Statistics Reports; no 174. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:119434.

      CS332671

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