What we know so far about who’s at risk for COVID-19—and why the government isn’t doing more to protect us. Action Alert!
Factors such as age, gender, race and underlying medical conditions make this virus much more dangerous for some, less so for others. Given these different risks, the government should be funding research into how we can protect ourselves from COVID-19 infection with nutrition and lifestyle changes, but they ignore these approaches because they don’t make money for drug companies.
What are your risk factors?
- Children make up 22% of the population, but only 7% of confirmed cases. Children with the virus tend to develop symptoms like fever and cough at a lower rate (73%) compared to adults (93%).
- However, a mysterious inflammatory illness seems to be afflicting children and is believed to be linked to COVID-19 infection.
- Infants, unlike children, are a high-risk group. Of the 95 infants in the CDC study, 62% were hospitalized, compared to 14% among 1- to 17-year-olds.
- Researchers found that people younger than 30 years were 40% less likely to die of the infection than those 30 to 59 years.
- The share of fatalities among those infected rises significantly by age group:
The chart above was originally posted here and uses data provided by New York Health detailing age-related deaths, comorbidities and deaths among those whose ages were not identified.
- While the US does not currently have gender related statistics available, data from around the world confirms that men are more than twice as likely to die from the virus as women.
- The number of those infected is evenly distributed between genders (though data is incomplete due to lack of reporting data from US and other countries).
- Studies indicate that estrogen may play a protective role during Covid-19 infection.
- 42% of deaths from the pandemic, so far, were African Americans, who comprise just over 12% of the total population; African Americans comprise nearly a third of confirmed infections; 80% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in Georgia were African American.
- 70% of Hispanics surveyed were concerned they would be infected, compared to 60% among blacks and 50% among whites.
- Air pollution and toxic exposures increase the risk of COVID-19 and minorities are more likely to be exposed to higher levels of toxins. People of color are exposed to 38% higher levels of carbon dioxide, which contribute to respiratory problems.
Underlying Health Issues
- According to CDC, 90% of those hospitalized for COVID have an underlying health condition.
- Obese patients under 60 were twice as likely to need acute care as those who are not obese.
- Mortality rates for COVID patients with diabetes (100 million+ Americans have the disease) is three times higher than those without diabetes; people with diabetes are not more likely to contract the virus, but face worse outcomes once infected.
- Cardiovascular disease is the deadliest and most common comorbidity among those hospitalized.
- Because cancer treatments weaken the immune system, patients who have cancer are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19. Those suffering from immune diseases also face this increased risk.
- Early reports targeted asthma as a potentially risky comorbidity, but emerging data suggests asthmatics might not be at higher risk.
- Individuals with Type A blood have a higher risk for COVID as compared with non-A blood groups. Type O type risks are significantly lower.
- There is no reported increase in risk among pregnant women.
This is what we know so far. Unfortunately, those who are at higher risk are not being given much advice about how to protect themselves other than “stay at home” and “wash your hands.” The government should 1) be telling people about natural ways of shoring up the body’s immune defenses, such as correcting nutrient deficiencies that millions of Americans suffer from, and 2) committing serious funding to research looking at how diet and lifestyle factors impact COVID-19 infection and resistance. The time to do these studies is now, not months or years later. We must force the government to act.
Action Alert! Tell the NIH, with a copy to Congress, to fund studies of natural ways of preventing COVID-19 infection. Please send your message immediately.