The 5 factors that increase your risk of dying from coronavirus – The Sun

Posted: April 15, 2020 at 9:49 pm

THE number of people dying from coronavirus across the world is continuing to rise every day - with just under 130,000 deaths in 210 countries.

And in the UK alone,the total of deathspushed past the 12,000 barrier yesterday - with the grim total expected to be 15 per cent higher than reported due to people dying outside of hospital.


However, scientists have now revealed that there are some key factorsthat people who pass away from Covid-19have in common.

A team of researchers from eight institutions in China and the United States including the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, and the University of California Davis recently looked at the data of 85 patients who died of multiple organ failure after having received care for severe Covid-19.

All individuals whose data the study used received care at either the Hanan Hospital or the Wuhan Union Hospital between January 9 and February 15, 2020.

And the researchers who conducted the study,that appears in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,uncovered a series of factors that the majority of these patients shared.

Here, we outline these key factors...

The killer new coronavirus appears to be posing a particular threat to men.

The researchers found that 72.9 per cent of those who died from the new coronavirus - Sars-Cov-2 - were male.

Experts believe there are a few reasons for more men dying than women, including some biological and other lifestyle choices.

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent infection - but multiple studies show that women are much more likely to wash their hands and use soap than men.


Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunology at Yale University, told the New York Times that men may have a "false sense of security" about coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Chinese men are much more likely to smoke than women, which can lead to a weaker immune system.

China has the largest population of smokers in the world - accounting for nearly a third of the world's smokers - but just two per cent of them are women.

Meanwhile, in the UK 16.5 per cent of men - around 3.9 million - and 13 per cent of women - around 3.2 million - reported being current smokers.

Chinese men also have higher rates of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than women.

All of these conditions can increase the risk of complications following infection of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, some experts believe that oestrogen, the female sex hormone, may also play a role in protecting women.

The new strain of deadly coronavirus doesn't discriminate and can infect anyone of any age.

However, it's older adults - aged 60 and upwards - who are more likely to get seriously ill from it - with the scientists discoveringthat those who died from Covid-19 had amedian age of 65.8 years.

Medics say it's because our immune systems weaken with age, meaning an older person's body is less able to fight Covid-19.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patient Access, told The Sun: "We know that as you get older, your immune system becomes less efficient thats why older people are at higher risk of serious complications of coronavirus infection.



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"If your immune system isnt strong, its more likely that the virus can multiply deep inside your lung, causing inflammation and scarring.

"Your immune system will try and fight it off, and will often destroy healthy lung tissue in the process.

"This makes you more prone to get secondary infections like pneumococcal pneumonia."

In fact, evidence from China, where the deadly virus originated, shows one in seven of those over 80 known to have contracted coronavirus have died.

Those who died from Covid-19 in the study mostly had underlying chronic conditions, such as heart problems or diabetes.

The greatest number of deaths in our cohort were in males over 50 with noncommunicable chronic diseases, the researchers said.

We hope that this study conveys the seriousness of Covid-19 and emphasises the risk groups of males over 50 with chronic comorbid conditions, including hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease, and diabetes," they added.


In fact, another study recently revealed that your risk of dying from coronavirus is 80 per cent higher if you have just one underlying health issue.

For those with two pre-existing conditions or more, the chances of being admitted to intensive care are even higher, experts warned.

Some of the chronic conditions said to heighten the risk among patients are asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and HIV and AIDS.

People who are obese or seriously overweightfall into the high risk category for coronavirus.

This is because being overweight or obese can weaken the bodys immune system which could make people more likely to catch coronavirus and makes it harder for the body to fight the bug.

The NHS has said people with a BMI of 40 or above have a greater risk of developing complications if they catch the virus.

More than 60 per cent of patients in intensive care with the virus were overweight or classed as morbidly obese, arecent NHS survey found.

Those who were overweight, with a BMI of 25 to 40, made up 64 per cent of the 194 coronavirus patients who were in ICU at the time, while seven per cent were classed as obese with a BMI over 40.

BMI is a measure of whether youre a healthy weight for your height, you can calculate yours on the NHS website.

In the past, studies have shown overweight and obese people are at greater risk of serious complications or death from infections, like flu.

The extra weight on obese people's diaphragms puts pressure on lungs and makes it harder to breathe, starving them of oxygen.

Clogged up arteries can also make it harder for blood carrying immune cells to circulate and travel to fight infection around the body.

In terms of other potentially relevant information, the research team found that 81.2 per cent of those who died from Covid-19 in the study had very low eosinophil counts on admission to the hospital."

This is a type of white blood cells, which are specialised immune cells that help fight infection.

The medics suggested that having abnormally low levels of eosinophils a condition known as eosinophilopenia may correlate with a greater risk of severe outcomes in people who have contracted Covid-19.

While the scientists hope that their current findings may help other doctors better understand and prepare for fighting coronavirus, the researchers nevertheless urge other experts to keep on recording all possible information about people receiving care for this new illness.

Our study, which investigated patients from Wuhan, China, who died in the early phases of this pandemic, identified certain characteristics, the researchers said.

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"Yet as the disease has spread to other regions, the observations from these areas may be the same, or different.

They added: Genetics may play a role in the response to the infection, and the course of the pandemic may change as the virus mutates, as well.

"Since this is a new pandemic that is constantly shifting, we think the medical community needs to keep an open mind as more and more studies are conducted.

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The 5 factors that increase your risk of dying from coronavirus - The Sun

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