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.



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