Preexisting health conditions increase vulnerability to severe complications from COVID-19. Among middle-aged and older Americans, vulnerability to severe COVID-19 complications based on preexisting conditions is 2-3 times greater for those with low versus high income. Vulnerability is about 40% higher for middle-aged and older adults with a high school degree or less than adults with a four-year college degree. In every age group, Blacks are more vulnerable than Whites, but Hispanics are at lower risk based on fewer preexisting health conditions.

Document Type

Research Brief


COVID-19, Coronavirus, disparities, infection, health, complication


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity




National Institute on Aging, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation

Funding ID

P30AG034424, P2C-HD041022, R01 HD069609, R01 AG040213, SES 1157698, 1623684

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.