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article imageDeep-dive into the underlying risk factors and COVID-19 symptoms

By Tim Sandle     Aug 3, 2020 in Science
Researchers have analysed the pseudonymised health data of over 17.4 million U.K. adults to discover the key factors associated with death from COVID-19.
The research centers on the extent of the risk associated with people who have various pre-existing medical conditions and coronavirus infection. This shows that conditions such as diabetes and obesity increase the chances of a person suffering worse with coronavirus.
The findings also show there is a higher risk of death from COVID-19 for men, older people, and people with greater deprivation. Furthermore, there is also a connection with ethnicity in that populations from Asian and Black ethnic backgrounds appears to be at a higher risk of death.
The academics involved in the project to assess the factors behind the coronavirus infection are based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Oxford. The researchers are working on behalf of NHS England and in partnership with NHSX (a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement to drive the digital transformation of care). This type of information is essential for countries in the western hemisphere, like the U.K., which is making preparations for a likely 'second-wave' of coronavirus infections during the winter.
The findings are published in the science journal Nature. The research is titled "OpenSAFELY: factors associated with COVID-19 death in 17 million patients."
In related news, a new study has monitored SARS-CoV-2 viral loads over time and across different patient populations. In terms of the severity of illness, the review stresses the importance of viral load. Studying viral load patterns appears to be a means to predict contagiousness and clinical prognosis. This is particularly important for healthcare facilities. Health centers have been singled out as the main loci, in almost every country, for driving the initial spread of coronavirus infections.
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