Research into 355 deaths found that only three of the victims, 0.8 per cent, had been clear of illnesses before they were infected.
Nearly half of them – 48.5 per cent – already had three or even more health conditions before they were diagnosed with Covid-19.
Another 25.6 per cent had two other ‘pathologies’, while 25.1 per cent had one.
The research by Italy’s National Institute of Health is consistent with previous findings that people with existing illnesses are more likely to die from coronavirus.
According to the study, the most common of these problems in Italy include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Some 76.1 per cent of the patients who died of Covid-19 had previously had problems with high arterial blood pressure, the study found.
More than a third – 35.5 per cent – had diabetes, while 33.0 per cent had suffered from ischemic heart disease.’