Thursday, January 21, 2021

COVID-19 is dangerous for middle-aged adults, not just the elderly


News Release 21-Jan-2021
Study examines infection fatality rates for COVID-19
Dartmouth College


COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly over the past several months, and the U.S. death toll has now reached 400,000. As evident from the age distribution of those fatalities, COVID-19 is dangerous not only for the elderly but for middle-aged adults, according to a Dartmouth-led study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

"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," explains lead author Andrew Levin, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College. "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 an 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."

These findings represent the culmination of a systematic review of all available studies of COVID-19 prevalence in countries with advanced economies;


Levin also emphasized 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," says Levin. "We need get through this period as safely as possible. Taking basic precautions--including wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands often--is critical to protecting yourself, family, friends, and community members from this very deadly disease."

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