• Nina Schwalbe

What makes us more susceptible to severe COVID-19 disease?

A few great articles and studies have come out in the past week – one on the link with Diabetes – which is significant – and confirms it does make a difference whether or not your diabetes is well managed, which clearly highlights the importance of universal health coverage and access to primary health care. This in part explains why marginalized populations in the US are being hit so hard – they don’t have access to primary care and measures to control their underlying conditions

The other from an article reporting proceedings from National Academy of Sciences is on how COVID compares to other diseases and compared to “normal” mortality from an age distribution standpoint. While the math and modelling are quite complex and as with all studies subject to assumptions, the exercise is one of the few I have seen that attempts to understand the data at a population level in comparison to other diseases like HIV or the opioid crisis (which is not a simple exercise). It also explains why the numbers are so complicated to interpret and makes an important point that the age distribution of deaths from COVID is similar to the age distribution of death overall (e.g. 70% of COVID deaths happen in people over 65 vs. 64% of all deaths which is the “norm” for this age group).

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