coronavirus hungary hospital
Photo: MTI/Balázs Attila

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 26,000 Hungarians fell victim to the virus. In most cases, the deceased had underlying diseases that aggravated the outcome of the coronavirus infection. There is a lot to be read from the data of the deceased, especially that the general health of Hungarians is relatively poor.

During the reports, you can hear every day how many people have had chronic underlying diseases. Most victims report 1 or 2 comorbidities, but some have been diagnosed with ten diseases in addition to the coronavirus.

To begin with, it is important to clarify the concept of chronic disease. According to the textbook definition, “a chronic patient is someone who had a disease for more than six months.” Infectologist András Csilek said that all diseases could be listed here that cannot be eliminated but can be treated.

The three most common underlying diseases are blood pressure problem, heart disease and diabetes.

As of April 18, 25,184 people had died of coronavirus in Hungary. points out that the analysis of coronavirus statistics is complicated because certain diseases are mentioned under several names, and spelling mistakes are regular. “Hospitals provide so much data that they had to set up separate working groups, the data is entered by qualified people, but not by those who could put in all medical terms, which is why there may be different names,” explains Csilek. There was no such epidemic before, so doctors list all diseases because they do not know what might be relevant later.

According to Csilek, the underlying diseases of coronavirus victims are common ones. “The majority of the dead are elderly, and the most common types of disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular complaints, are also common in the 40-plus age group, so it’s no coincidence that we get the same statistics. Even if we are healthy, that does not mean that we have zero chance of dying.”

According to research examining 37 OECD countries, Hungary is among the worst in terms of health indicators.

For example, Hungary is the second on the list of circulatory system diseases amongst the OECD countries. This trend can also be observed for other diseases. Hungary is also on the list of the ten worst performing countries in terms of diabetes and metabolic disease. According to a survey from 2017, 30 per cent of the Hungarian population is obese.

Hungary is the fattest nation in Europe.

In addition to obesity, alcoholism is also a severe problem. According to the infectologist, general poor health is also seen in coronavirus statistics.


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