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Do you know the risk factors for Coronavirus infection?

Do you know the risk factors for Coronavirus infection?

Last Reviewed : 12/16/2020
Do you know the risk factors for Coronavirus infection?

Coronavirus outbreak started in China with a zoonotic transmission, spread from wild animals to human beings. Very soon, person to person transmission started occurring. Clinical features include infection without any symptoms, mild flu-like symptoms, upper respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and severe sepsis. Mild illness is seen in around 80% of the affected people. Individuals who have chronic health conditions and elderly people have an increased risk of serious illness and death.

Based on the research studies published so far, age seems to be the biggest risk factor. People above 65 year of age appear to be at higher risk of severe illness and increased death rate when compared to younger people. Novel Coronavirus infection can affect any aged individual but elderly people are at an increased risk. Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are the most common chronic health conditions identified in people with COVID-19 illness.

Chronic lung disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hepatitis B infection, coronary artery disease (heart disease) and stroke are other identified common coexisting disorders in patients with COVID-19 infection. Chronic kidney disease, cancer and immunodeficiency are also associated with increased risk for COVID-19 infection. Current smoking history is also considered as a risk factor for in-hospital death rate.

One study published in Critical Care identified age >50 years, male sex and hypertension as the risk factors for COVID-19 illness. This study included 487 patients. One point is given to any of these three risk factors. Host risk score is calculated using these three risk factors. The severity of illness is incrementally higher as the score goes from 0 to 3.

There are multiple laboratory findings identified that increase the risk of COVID-19 illness. Reduced lymphocyte count, increased liver enzymes, creatinine, LDH, creanine kinase, d-dimer, and serum ferritin are associated with disease severity and death rate.

Several risk factors were identified that increase the risk of COVID-19 illness. Age, chronic health conditions, and current smoking habit increase the severity of illness and death rate. Individuals with risk factors should be more vigilant and take all the preventive measures to avoid Novel Coronavirus infection.

 

References:

  1. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. Wei-jie Guan et al. New England Journal of Medicine. February 28, 2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002032
  2. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Zhou F et al. Lancet. 2020 Mar 11. pii: S0140-6736(20)30566-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3.
  3. The COVID-19 epidemic. Velavan TP et al. Trop Med Int Health. 2020 Mar;25(3):278-280. doi: 10.1111/tmi.13383. Epub 2020 Feb 16.
  4. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) in China. Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2020 Feb 17;41(2):145-151. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0254-6450.2020.02.003.
  5. Risk Factors Associated With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Death in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Wu C et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0994.
  6. Host susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and establishment of a host risk score: findings of 487 cases outside Wuhan. Shi Y et al. Crit Care. 2020 Mar 18;24(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-2833-7.
  7. Novel Wuhan (2019-nCoV) Coronavirus. Carlos WG et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Feb 15;201(4):P7-P8. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2014P7.

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