Covid-19, a secondary disease. The scientific studies


Covid-19, a secondary disease? A secondary disease to the ills of Western society, but also to the pre-existing diseases of victims of the new coronavirus. This is the finding of the meta-analysis of 42 scientific studies conducted on nearly 40 thousand patients.

War and Peace

The ongoing pandemic has brought words back into the common lexicon that had almost been forgotten in Europe. Lockdown, curfew, war. Military language and task forces composed of only ‘able-bodied’ men. Only last week a few women were taken in after several appeals. And representatives of the ‘disability planet’ are still excluded, although it is the one most afflicted by the various ongoing disasters.

However, the wartime evocation is completely misleading since the goal is to save rather than destroy lives. For many but not for all, as the Italian government and parliament are about to enact new military spending of 6 billion euros that could be more usefully invested in public health and population support in the worst economic crisis in the last century (1,2).

Covid-19, a secondary disease. The scientific studies

The word ‘comorbidity’ means the simultaneous presence, in the same person, of two or more diseases. Scientific research pre-published on 5/13/20 analyzes 42 epidemiological studies conducted so far regarding the impact of the new coronavirus on the health of populations. (3) Analysis of 39,398 cases shows:

recurrence of hypertension (36.5%) and cardiovascular disease (11.9%), as well as diabetes (22.0%), in patients with COVID-19 infection,

The increased likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 deaths in patients with pre-existing diseases. The risk is fourfold in case of diseases of the cerebrovascular system (+412%). More than tripled in cases of cardiovascular disease (+332%), renal failure, and chronic liver disease (+302). More than double in cases of immune and metabolic disorders (+239%), any type of cancer (222%), and respiratory diseases (+202%).

‘People with one or more of these morbidities generally have poor immune systems. This increases both their susceptibility to infection and the likelihood of complications that can lead to death from a secondary disease such as COVID-19. (…)

These findings could potentially help health care providers sort out the most threatened COVID-19 patients for comorbidities, take precautionary measures during hospitalization, assess susceptibility to death, and prioritize their treatment, which could potentially reduce the number of deaths in COVID-19 disease.’

Comorbidity and deaths with Covid-19, Italy

The ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) in turn indicates how only 3.9 percent of deaths with SARS-CoV-2 had no comorbidities. The average number of pathologies observed is 3.3 in women, 3.2 in men. Most recurrent:

– arterial hypertension (68.1%)

– diabetes mellitus (30.5%)

– Ischemic heart disease (28.2%)

– atrial fibrillation (22.5%)

– chronic renal failure (20.5%)

– chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (16.5%)

– heart failure (16%)

– dementia (15.8%)

– obesity (10.8%)

– stroke (10.6%).

Prior to admission, 23% of ‘deceased SARS-CoV-2 positive patients’ were on ACE inhibitor therapy and 16% on Sartans (angiotensin receptor blockers) therapy. (4)

Premature mortality, the first causes

WHO(World Health Organization, or WHO, 2018) indicates how the above-mentioned non-communicable diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), are already independent causes of millions of premature deaths, globally.

Prior to Covid-19, there were 17.9 million deaths worldwide each year from diseases of the cardiovascular system, 9 million deaths from cancer, 3.9 million from respiratory diseases, and 1.6 million from diabetes. (5)

In Italy, Istat data on pre-Covid causes of death (2017) show, in the top five places:

1) diseases of the circulatory system, 35.8 percent

2) cancers, 27.7 percent

3) diseases of the respiratory system, 8.2 percent

4) diseases of the nervous system/sense organs (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.), 4.7 percent

5) Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (diabetes), 4.5%. (6)

Hidden pandemics

The real pandemics are the ones that the mainstream media keeps hidden and policy ignores, to protect their big investors:

air pollution. According to eminent scientific studies, about 10 million deaths a year are to be attributed to it,

Imbalanced eating patterns. Obesity, overweight and malnutrition are in fact listed (along with global warming, which in turn is linked to air pollution) as the primary causes of the
Global Syndemic
in progress,

Homicidal pesticides and ecocides. 200,000 deaths each year-equivalent to two-thirds of the deaths to date of patients with SARS-CoV2 (Worldometers, 16.5.20)-are cited in the 2017 UN report for acute agrotoxin poisoning cases alone. And it is the aforementioned UN report that refers to the ‘catastrophic effects‘ of agrochemicals in agriculture.

Covid-19, the ABC’s

, the trilogy of the Égalité association, offers some insights into these and other issues. The three ebooks dedicated to:

– People
(volume I),

– Society
(volume II),

– Planet
(volume III).

Dario Dongo


(1) Italian Network for Disarmament, Sbilanciamoci!, Peace Network, GCOMS Campaign. Military spending increases while health budgets remain insufficient. Disarmament Network. 4/27/20,

(2) Giulio Marcon. Less guns, more hospitals. Let’s unbalance! 4/29/20,

(3) Khan M, Khan MN, Mustagir MG, Rana J, Islam MS, Kabir MI.
Effects of pre-existing morbidities on occurrence of death among COVID-19 disease patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
. MedRxiv (preprint), 13.5.20.cdoi: 10.1101/2020.05.08.20095968

(4) ISS.
Characteristics of patients who died positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection in Italy.
. Update 14.5.20,

(5) WHO. (2018).
Noncommunicable diseases
. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

(6) This was followed by mental and behavioral disorders (3.8%), digestive diseases, (3.6%), external causes of trauma (suicides, homicides, traffic accidents, etc. 3.2%), ill-defined causes and abnormal outcomes (2.2%), and infectious and parasitic diseases (2.2%). Istat. (2019).
Mortality by event territory.
Italy, year 2017,

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.