KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — A Covid-19 study reported in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases has described in detail how older people infected with the coronavirus are at increased risk of hospitalistion and of succumbing to the disease.
An analysis of 70,117 laboratory-confirmed and clinically-diagnosed cases in mainland China, and 689 positive cases among people from Wuhan was done by researchers from UK’s Imperial College London.
The study found that while the overall death rate for confirmed cases was 1.38 per cent, this increased significantly with age to 7.8 per cent among those above 80.
Only 0.04 per cent of those between 10 to 19 years required hospitalisation compared to more than 18 per cent of those above 80.
However, the need for hospital care also rose to around 4 and 8 per cent for those in their 40s and 50s respectively.
“Our estimates can be applied to any country to inform decisions around the best containment policies for Covid-19,” said co-author Professor Azra Ghani in a statement announcing the results.
“Our analysis very clearly shows that at aged 50 and over, hospitalisation is much more likely than in those under 50, and a greater proportion of cases are likely to be fatal.”
Older people often have pre-existing health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
The authors, who are advisers to the UK government on the outbreak, have warned that up to 80 per cent of the global population could be infected with Covid-19.