Covid-19 and the Risk to the Elderly

It seems that underlying pre-existing conditions are the real problem. And the elderly may suffer from a larger number of these debilitating conditions simply because of the decline in the immune system. Studies conducted in mainland China at the Imperial College have revealed that 13.4% of individuals in their 80’s will die of the coronavirus if they contract the disease, while only 1.25% of those in their 50’s will succumb to the disease. But this is not merely a factor of age. A healthy person in their 80’s is far more likely to survive the condition that one decades younger who has an underlying condition such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. This is a major problem because the incidence of chronic disease has been increasing steadily. Studies in 2009-2010 show that 21% of people aged from 45 to 64 suffer from two chronic diseases, up from 16% in 1999-2000. So, it’s not just a problem of Covid​-19 killing the aged, but the fact that chronic disease is creating an extremely vulnerable population.

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