Science

Middle-aged face greater risk of dying from Covid-19 than from accident: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2021

Nearly 40 per cent of US Covid-19 deaths have occurred among those ages 45 to 74 years

The novel coronavirus is lethal not only for the elderly but for middle-aged adults, according to a Dartmouth-led study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

According to the lead author of the study, for a person who is middle-aged, the risk of dying from Covid-19 is about 100 times greater than dying from an automobile accident.

Andrew Levin, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College added: "Generally speaking, very few children and young adults die of Covid-19. However, the risk is progressively greater for middle-aged and older adults. The odds that infection becomes fatal is only 1:10,000 at age 25, whereas those odds are roughly 1:100 at age 60, 1:40 at age 70, and 1:10 at age 80."

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Methodology

27 research studies were done where the survey design was representative of the general population. The studies covered 34 geographical locations in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe.

Using those prevalence data, the researchers investigated the age-specific ratio of Covid-19 fatalities to infections and found a very clear exponential relationship.

Findings

"Our findings are consistent with the CDC's Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics, which report on Covid-19 deaths by age group," said Levin.

The authors wrote: "Nearly 40 per cent of US Covid-19 deaths have occurred among those ages 45 to 74 years, while almost 60 per cent have occurred among those over 75 years old. By contrast, children and young adults (less than 45 years old) account for less than 3 per cent of US Covid-19 deaths."

Levin further stressed the urgent practical implications of his team's research findings. “While Covid-19 vaccines are now being distributed, several more months are likely to pass before these vaccines have been fully disseminated to the public,” Levin noted.

The findings of the study were published in the medRxiv preprint server.

Also read: Covid-19 may awaken antibody response from previous infections: Study

Published on January 22, 2021

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