The Truth About Larry King's COVID-19 Risk Factors

In late December 2020, famed TV host Larry King was diagnosed with COVID-19. According to Showbiz 411, who first reported the news, King is being treated in a Los Angeles hospital and is currently in isolation. Though his family — which includes estranged wife Shawn King and children Larry King Jr., Chance King, and Cannon King — has not yet spoken on the TV star's diagnosis, Showbiz 411 reports that they're unable to visit him in the hospital due to precautions over the spread of the virus.

Showbiz 411 also reported that King's family has been in constant contact with the hospital to monitor the talk-show host's health, despite not being able to be with him in person. A source close to the family confirmed to CNN — which is also the network that once hosted King's show Larry King Live — that the entertainment icon is indeed hospitalized, though his current health status is unclear.

King is currently at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A., the source told CNN, and has been there since late December. The source also told CNN that only King's sons were unable to visit but didn't mention his wife, which conflicts with earlier reports about who has been able to be with King in the hospital, making it unclear if King has any family currently at his side.

As of this writing, King is 87 years old, placing him at high risk for COVID-19 complications. Keep reading to learn more about his past health concerns.

Larry King's age, health, and stress level could be cause for concern

Larry King Live host Larry King is not only at higher risk of COVID-19 complications because of his age, but his past health concerns also will affect how his body might handle the virus. In recent years, according to ABC News, King has dealt with multiple heart attacks, diabetes, and both prostate and lung cancer. All of these ailments would make King's body more vulnerable in a COVID-19 attack.

There are also other factors to consider, like the fact that King is unable to be with his family during this time, which can cause stress. According to some research, stress (particularly the stress hormone cortisol) can affect the body's ability to handle COVID-19 as well, Vox reported in September 2020.

"High levels of cortisol are associated with poor [Covid-19] outcomes, and drugs that block the hormone seem to improve outcomes," said Kavita Vedhara, a University of Nottingham professor of health psychology to Vox. Vedhara is currently conducting a study that examines how stress affects COVID-19. She told the outlet that more research needs to be done but there is possibly a link between chronic stress and higher risk of COVID-19 complications. "It fits with what we know about psychological stress generally, and in particular the evidence on stress and other viral infections," she said.

We're wishing King a speedy recovery from COVID-19 and hope that he can be reunited with his family again soon.