Seniors With These 7 Diseases Are Most Often Hospitalized for COVID-19

Senior with COVID-19 in a hospital
Photo by sasirin pamai / Shutterstock.com

Seniors with seven chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to ending up in the hospital due to exposure to the coronavirus, according to newly updated data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS says that nearly 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, between the start of the year and Sept. 12. Of those beneficiaries, more than 332,000 were hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis during that period.

Those numbers, released Nov. 19, reflect cases and hospitalizations that CMS knew about as of Oct. 9. The federal agency notes that all data in its latest report “will continue to change as CMS processes additional claims and encounters for the reporting period.”

The data reveals that seven chronic conditions were most common among the Medicare beneficiaries who had been hospitalized:

  • Hypertension: 80%
  • Hyperlipidemia: 62%
  • Chronic kidney disease: 51%
  • Diabetes: 50%
  • Anemia: 48%
  • Ischemic heart disease: 46%
  • Rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis: 46%

Of the beneficiaries who were hospitalized, 21% died and 32% were discharged to their homes. The others moved from the hospital to skilled nursing facilities (22%), home health care (14%), hospice (5%) or other health care settings, CMS says.

About half of the hospital stays lasted for fewer than eight days, while 12% percent of the stays were at least 21 days.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 and older or have certain disabilities.

Virus afflicts people of color, the elderly and the poor

The coronavirus appears to be affecting people of color, older adults and the poor in greater numbers, and that disparity also shows up in the Medicare data.

CMS says COVID-19 hospitalization rates are especially high for:

  • Black beneficiaries (1,263 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries)
  • Hispanic beneficiaries (967 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries)
  • Beneficiaries who are age 85 or older (1,003 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries)
  • Beneficiaries who are age 75 to 84 (604 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries)
  • Beneficiaries enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, the government insurance program for people with low incomes (1,374 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries)

By comparison, the overall rate for all Medicare beneficiaries was 517 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Regardless of your race, ethnicity, age or financial standing, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Some measures are obvious or have gotten a lot of media attention. You can find helpful tips in the following stories:

Other ways to keep the coronavirus at bay might be less obvious. You can learn more about them in:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

10 Products That Will Help You Save Money
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money

Sometimes, spending a little cash right now can save you a lot of money down the road.

12 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks
12 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks

You may be eligible for more retirement income than you realize.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.