Three Things That May Reduce Your Risk of COVID-19

decrease risk factors for COVID-19

The longer the COVID-19 pandemic goes on, the more scientists learn about it. But, the medical community still has far more questions than answers when it comes to the novel coronavirus.

Doctors still do not understand why some people develop severe cases while others do not. Drug manufacturers have tested a number of treatments. But, healthcare professionals have not classified any of them as truly effective against COVID-19.

There is good news, though. Doctors and researchers have made progress in identifying certain risk factors for COVID-19. We summarized these risk factors below to help consumers make healthy decisions as the holiday season approaches.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend the following as the most effective ways to reduce COVID-19 risk:

  • Wear a mask when leaving the house.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and people who don't live with you.
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
    Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

1: Take Medications as Prescribed

According to the CDC, certain conditions may put you at higher risk for COVID-19. Such conditions include:

  • Certain blood disorders
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart and cardiovascular diseases
  • Immune system deficiencies
  • Lung diseases
  • Neurological conditions

Consumers with these conditions have no control over their diagnosis. However, the CDC recommends patients with these conditions remain vigilant in managing them. According to the CDC, consumers can do this by:

  • Attending all scheduled appointments and treatments
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Not skipping doses
  • Not altering doses

Some patients, like those with diabetes and heart disease, may be affected by recent medication recalls. Such individuals should consult a physician before altering their medication.

Some of the recent recalls have been triggered by the presence of a carcinogen. Therefore, affected patients should seek medical guidance on replacement medication as soon as possible.

2: Consider Cutting Down on Alcohol

The CDC recognizes liver diseases as a potential risk factor for severe COVID-19. According to research, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with liver disease. Consumers can play it safe by avoiding or restricting alcohol consumption.

This recommendation may seem simple. However, many consumers have increased their alcohol intake during the pandemic. Instead of using alcohol to de-stress, consumers may consider alternatives, such as:

  • Non-alcoholic cocktails or mocktails
  • Non-alcoholic spirits
  • Lower alcohol beer
  • Tart cherry juice

3: Avoid Smoking and Vaping If Possible

As mentioned above, the CDC recognizes lung disease as a risk factor for COVID-19. Smoking increases the chance of developing several lung disorders, including:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer

Smoking's electronic counterpart, vaping, may also contribute to COVID-19 risk. In a recent study, teens who vaped were more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 than teens who did not vape.

Thus, consumers can cut out this COVID-19 risk factor by not vaping or smoking.

COVID-19 is not the only potential risk associated with vaping. Consumers have experienced seizures, nicotine addiction and many other health problems after using e-cigarettes. Some consumers have even filed lawsuits against JUUL after experiencing these problems.

Authored by Katy Moncivais, Ph.D.Medical Editor
Photo of Katy Moncivais, Ph.D.
Katy Moncivais holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. She’s an experienced Regenerative Medicine Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & healthcare industry. Skilled in adult stem cells, medical devices, biomechanics, bacterial and mammalian cell culture, and regenerative medicine, she provides guidance on an array of topics affecting consumers. In her role at, Dr. Moncivais works alongside the writing and research staff to help deliver fact-based news stories to consumers. Her unique professional history alongside her rigorous educational background allows her to contribute to a variety of consumer-focused topics with a fresh perspective. In addition, Dr. Moncivais reviews portions of medically driven content to ensure scientific accuracy.
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