According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) by Tufts University, the vast majority of adult hospitalizations for CCP Virus (COVID-19) in the United States are attributable to at least one of four pre-existing conditions: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure, in that order.

The work led by researchers at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University used a mathematical simulation to estimate the number of CCP Virus hospitalizations that could have been prevented in the United States had Americans not suffered from four primary cardiometabolic conditions. 

These diseases have been associated with a significantly increased risk of worse outcomes from the Wuhan coronavirus infection.

Dariush Mozaffarian is a senior author and dean of the Friedman School. He expressed concern that elementary things can be done to prevent serious adverse effects of contracting the disease that no government seems to be working on. 

Among these issues is raising awareness among the population to take better care of their bodies, eating healthy, exercising, reducing stress. Still, the main health agencies seem to consider isolation and masks as the only important thing.

“We know that changes in diet quality alone, even without weight loss, rapidly improve metabolic health within just six to eight weeks. It’s crucial to test such lifestyle approaches for reducing severe COVID-19 infections, both for this pandemic and future pandemics likely to come,” Mozaffarian cautioned.

The researchers estimated that among the 906,849 total hospitalizations due to the presence of the CCP Virus that occurred in U.S. adults during 2020, 30% (274,322) were attributable to obesity, 26% (237,738) to hypertension, 21% (185,678) to diabetes, and 12% (106,139) to heart failure.

In other words, these numbers indicate that this number of people may have contracted the virus but may not have had severe enough consequences to require any hospitalization. 

The mathematical model used in the study suggests that 64% (575,419) of the hospitalizations due to the CCP Virus could have been avoided.

In this regard, another of the study’s authors, Meghan O’Hearn, a doctoral candidate at Friedman School, said: 

“Medical providers should educate patients who may be at risk for severe COVID-19 and consider promoting preventive lifestyle measures, such as improved dietary quality and physical activity, to improve overall cardiometabolic health. It’s also important for providers to be aware of the health disparities people with these conditions often face.”

Mozaffarian added that policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of these four cardiometabolic diseases should be part of state or national policies that seek to lessen the effects of the CCP Virus.