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Lifestyle diseases and Coronavirus

11 May 2020 Bonitas

As the number of Covid-19 infections moves over 10 000, the health minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed concern about the huge risk group of South Africans suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. In other words Comorbidities.

The words ‘comorbidity’ and ‘comorbid conditions,’ are common medical terms. Comorbidity refers to one or more diseases or conditions that occur along with another condition in the same person at the same time. Conditions considered comorbidities are often long-term or chronic conditions such as those mentioned by Zweli Mkhize.

‘This worry,’ Mkhize said, ‘is born of the fact that these are the most common underlying medical conditions of those who have died of Covid-19 to date.

‘The three that are currently emerging to be the most commonly associated comorbidities are hypertension (or high blood pressure), diabetes and obesity,’ he said. ‘In our country we have a very significant burden of all these three diseases. These risk factors are important to take into account because they are also serious factors when it comes to the conduct of the Covid-19 infection.’
Two years ago the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Medical Research Council cautioned that chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are becoming the biggest threat to South Africans health. The Council described the problem of these non-communicable diseases as an ‘emerging epidemic’.

Bonitas Medical Fund explains why you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your wellness numbers.

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