Addressing comorbidities also important in fight against COVID

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Senator Frank Blas Jr. (36th Guam Legislature photo)

Senator Frank Blas Jr. says addressing comorbidities is also important in the overall fight against COVID-19.

In a statement, Blas pointed out that when a COVID death is reported, the verbiage typically states that the individual had an underlying medical condition or comorbidity.

“So, if comorbidities are common in COVID deaths, why isn’t there an effort to aggressively address them too?” the senator asked.

Comorbidity is defined as the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in a patient. Hypertension, coronary heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes were medical conditions identified in studies published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as common comorbidities in a significant number of COVID-related deaths.

“While there were other conditions that were also identified, the studies appeared to suggest that eliminating the simultaneous presence of another medical condition greatly reduces risk of death in COVID patients. The science and data are there,” Blas said.

He added that Guam has a high rate of the conditions identified as comorbidities and maybe if we put a little more effort in addressing these will we see a decrease in the number of COVID deaths.

“It seems logical that if most of the deaths are attributable to underlying health conditions, reducing those conditions will result in a decrease in our casualties. Of course, the predominant recommendation to reduce the severity of the illness is to get the jab. However, should you decide not to or don’t want to get vaccinated, taking precautions to reduce your exposure and working on eliminating your health risks will lessen the chances of becoming severely ill or dying,” Blas said.

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