BREAKING NEWS : Indiana coronavirus cases increase to 116,549; 3,351 deaths Full Story

1 in 3 young adults vulnerable to severe Covid-19 — and smoking plays a big part, research finds

CNN's Brianna Keilar and Dr. Peter Hotez discuss White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeating President Trump's claim that when more testing is done for coronavirus, more cases are found.

Posted: Jul 14, 2020 8:11 AM
Updated: Jul 14, 2020 8:11 AM

One in three young adults is at risk of severe Covid-19, and smoking plays a big part in that risk, according to new research published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at more than 8,000 participants ages 18 to 25 who had participated in the National Health Interview Survey to see what their medical vulnerability to severe Covid-19 was in relation to risk indicators that had been set out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including health conditions and smoking habits.

The researchers found 32% of the total study population were medically vulnerable for severe Covid-19. However, when the group of participants who smoked cigarettes or e-cigarettes were taken out of the analysis, the medically vulnerable percentage decreased by half, to 16%.

"The difference between estimates is driven largely by the sizeable portion of young adults who reported that they engaged in past 30-day smoking (1 in 10) and past 30-day e-cigarette use (1 in 14)," the report said. "By contrast, relatively fewer young adults reported medical conditions identified by the CDC as conferring severe illness risk."

The research showed that in the whole study population, young adult men were at a higher risk for severe Covid-19. Although more women reported having asthma and immune conditions, higher rates of smoking in men overrode this. However, looking at just the nonsmokers, women had a higher risk.

"Recent evidence indicates that smoking is associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 progression, including increased illness severity, ICU admission or death," said Sally Adams, lead author of the study and a specialist at University of California, San Francisco's National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center, in a press release. "Smoking may have significant effects in young adults, who typically have low rates for most chronic diseases."

Another interesting finding from the research is that in the 18-to-25 age group, White young adults had the highest vulnerability.

"Our finding of lower medical vulnerability of racial/ethnic minorities compared with the white subgroup, despite controlling for income and insurance status, was unexpected," the study said. "It is also inconsistent with research showing higher rates of Covid-19 morbidity and mortality and other chronic illnesses among racial/ethnic minorities, specific to one age group."

It's also inconsistent with the 15-to-24 age group, the researchers said, in which Hispanic and Black Americans were shown to have the highest rates of Covid-19 deaths.

"This suggests that factors other than the CDC's medical vulnerability criteria play a role in the risk of severe Covid-19 illness in the young adult population," the researchers said in the study.

The study does have some limitations, including the lack of information about Covid-19 in the 18-to-25 population, and a chance that it could underestimate the vulnerability rates for certain ethnic or racial subgroups of young adults due to the data source.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115407

Reported Deaths: 3566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21196765
Lake10493323
Elkhart6528110
St. Joseph6392106
Allen6178202
Hamilton4848109
Vanderburgh360930
Hendricks2715123
Monroe256036
Tippecanoe239113
Johnson2305123
Clark221457
Porter213647
Delaware194262
Cass19419
Vigo182526
Madison164375
LaPorte142340
Floyd135862
Howard130563
Warrick128038
Kosciusko121617
Bartholomew116457
Marshall100824
Dubois96919
Boone96846
Hancock92143
Grant91934
Noble90832
Henry79826
Wayne75414
Jackson7499
Morgan71638
Shelby67229
Daviess66328
Dearborn66028
LaGrange63411
Clinton59914
Harrison57624
Putnam56412
Knox5159
Gibson5114
Lawrence51129
Montgomery50821
White48514
DeKalb47611
Decatur45839
Miami4353
Greene42435
Fayette42113
Jasper3942
Steuben3807
Scott37311
Sullivan33712
Posey3240
Jennings31312
Franklin30725
Clay3005
Ripley2968
Orange28824
Carroll27413
Whitley2707
Washington2651
Wabash2648
Starke2637
Adams2613
Wells2614
Jefferson2483
Spencer2413
Fulton2382
Huntington2363
Tipton22622
Perry22113
Randolph2167
Jay1800
Newton17311
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1554
Pike1471
Vermillion1280
Fountain1232
Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1050
Brown1043
Parke962
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 148894

Reported Deaths: 4734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26704607
Cuyahoga17375656
Hamilton13036315
Montgomery7755162
Lucas7280364
Butler5933111
Summit5265252
Marion308847
Mahoning3053281
Warren302349
Stark2838175
Pickaway264344
Lorain230786
Delaware223120
Fairfield208753
Columbiana192980
Licking191063
Trumbull1883132
Wood184172
Clark179440
Clermont170723
Lake161951
Medina146039
Greene144432
Allen143069
Miami142851
Portage113266
Mercer111918
Erie93546
Tuscarawas93020
Wayne92767
Ross87924
Richland86119
Madison81512
Darke79942
Belmont71827
Geauga71349
Hancock69510
Athens6692
Ashtabula65748
Lawrence65322
Shelby62510
Auglaize5979
Putnam58523
Sandusky56320
Huron5427
Union5292
Scioto4986
Seneca47014
Ottawa46830
Preble43315
Muskingum4012
Holmes3859
Jefferson3364
Henry31213
Logan3093
Champaign3043
Perry2969
Clinton29413
Defiance28911
Brown2882
Knox28415
Washington26023
Morrow2572
Hardin25213
Jackson2506
Fulton2411
Ashland2374
Crawford2366
Coshocton23411
Fayette2306
Highland2273
Wyandot21012
Williams2073
Gallia18913
Pike1840
Meigs17410
Guernsey1698
Hocking1639
Carroll1527
Adams1294
Van Wert1173
Monroe11018
Paulding1080
Harrison633
Morgan470
Vinton473
Noble280
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Warm, Summer-Like Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events