Risk groups

Certain individuals develop more severe symptoms, chiefly pneumonia and breathing difficulties, if they are infected with Covid-19.
Updated

70 years and older

The risk of becoming seriously ill gradually increases with age. Men are around twice as likely as women to become seriously ill. Mortality is also higher. In addition, if you have one or several of the conditions mentioned in the list below, the risk increases further. The higher up the list, the greater the risk. 

  • Organ transplantation.
  • Blood cancer diseases, existing and previous.
  • Neurological disorders (for example MS, Parkinson’s, Myasthenia gravis).
  • Obesity (increased risk with increased degree of obesity).
  • Diabetes (reduced risk if it is well managed).
  • Current cancer treatment.
  • Chronic lung disease (including asthma, but only to a very marginal extent if it is well managed).
  • Stroke/dementia.
  • Other immunosuppressive disease or treatment.
  • Liver disease.
  • Impaired kidney function.
  • Cardiovascular disease.

Younger than 70 years old

Individuals younger than 70 years old may also be at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they have any of the following:

  • One or more of the conditions mentioned above.
  • Disease that increases the risk of severe illness in case of airway infections.

Children have a very low risk of becoming seriously ill, even those who have any of the conditions or illnesses that increase the risk for adults and the elderly.

More information at the Swedish Public Health Agency 

Pregnant women

Pregnant women have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19, which could mean an increased risk of premature birth and other serious complications. Pregnant women should thus take extra care not to be infected. This applies to all pregnant women, especially those near the end of pregnancy, from 36 weeks onwards.

The risk of serious illness could also increase in combination with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

In general, all pregnant women should take extra care to follow the recommendations on keeping a distance, paying attention to hand hygiene, avoiding social contact outside a small circle of people and avoiding crowds.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden also encourages pregnant women to get vaccinated against the regular seasonal flu.

Consult your doctor

If you have any of the conditions above, you should consult your treating doctor about what you can do to reduce the risk of falling ill with Covid-19.

Preventive sickness benefit

Certain risk groups have an especially high risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, and may have the right to sickness benefits with a preventive purpose, in order to avoid getting infected.

You can receive benefits if you:

  • have work, but have a disease that puts you at risk of serious illness if you contract Covid-19, and
  • do not have the possibility to work from home, the employer cannot offer other work tasks within the frameworks of your employment, and it is not possible to adapt the work situation at the workplace to avoid infection,
  • have a doctor's certificate that proves that you belong to a Covid-19 risk group.

More information about benefits through the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (“Försäkringskassan”)