I was at Mom's yesterday and most of today.
I was listening to the news as she bounced from station-to-station. Mom is a new junkie.
One of the stations (CBS, maybe) breathlessly listed hypertension, obesity and diabetes as risk factors.
From memory, they claimed
50% of the patients on ventilators had high blood pressure
40% were obese
30% were diabetic.
Let's look at those predisposing conditions in turn.
According to the CDC, 45% of the population has hypertension under the new, more stringent guidelines implemented about a year ago. Source
According to the CDC, "The prevalence of obesity (in the United States) was 42.4% in 2017~2018." Source It should be noted that a person who is 5'-9" tall and weighs 203 pounds is considered obese.
According to the CDC, about 10% of the population has diabetes and another 20% has a made-up condition called "pre-diabetes". Added together they come to 30%.
The term "risk factor" suggests that the person with that characteristic is at HIGHER risk of having a problem. Yet, on the face of it, the people ending up in the hospital and on ventilators don't look any different than the base, United States population. 50% HT vs 45% base-rate. 40% obese vs 40% base rate. 30% diabetic vs 30% baserate (if you lump in pre-diabetic).
But if by "hypertension" they mean severe hypertension like systolic pressures of +150mm Hg
and if by "obese" they mean BMIs over 40 (or our 5'-9" person must weight more than 270 pounds)
and if by diabetes they mean real, diagnosed diabetes and don't lump in pre-diabetic...
Well, then they should say so. Numbers like that have predictive capability. For example, 10% of adult Americans are severely obese so if 40% of the people plugged into ventilators are severely obese then that means they have a four times greater chance of C-19 problems than the general population.