New York: Covid-19 patients in the hospital have a higher risk of death if they are men or if they are overweight or have complications from diabetes or high blood pressure, researchers say.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, examined nearly 67,000 Covid-19 patients in 613 hospitals across the country to determine the association between certain common patient characteristics and the risk of dying from Covid-19.
Their analysis found that men had a 30 percent higher risk of death than women of the same age and health.
“Hospital patients who were obese, had high blood pressure, or had poorly treated diabetes were at higher risk of death than those who did not,” according to the study authors from the University of Maryland in the United States.
Those 20 to 39 year olds with these disorders had the biggest difference in risk of death compared to their healthier peers.
“Predicting which Covid-19 hospitalized patients are at the highest risk of death has become much more important as the number of cases and hospitalizations in the US continues to rise and see high numbers in December,” said study author Anthony D Harris.
According to the researchers, age remained the strongest predictor of mortality from Covid-19.
Overall, nearly 19 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients died from their infection, with the lowest mortality rate among pediatric patients being less than two percent.
The death rate increased with each decade of life, with the highest mortality rate of 34 percent among those over 80.
“Older people are still at the highest risk of death, but younger patients with obesity or high blood pressure have the highest risk of death compared to other patients their age without these conditions,” said study director Katherine E Goodman of the University of Maryland
“Doctors may want to pay special attention to these younger patients in the hospital to make sure they spot complications quickly,” Goodman added.
The researchers also found some good news in their study results. Hospital death rates have fallen dramatically since the first few weeks of the pandemic in April.
“This is likely due to the availability of new treatments and more knowledge in the medical community about how to properly manage and care for hospital patients,” the authors noted.