Home >News >India >Predicting covid-19 death risk

Researchers at University College London have built an online tool to estimate people’s death risk due to covid-19 over the next one year. For this purpose, the tool uses electronic health records of over 3,800,000 individuals in England and takes into account pre-existing medical conditions.

In the study, Amitava Banerjee and other researchers use 20-year records of people above the age of 30. The authors find that over 20% had at least one high-risk condition, while 10% had multiple health conditions.

The “risk calculator" determines the chances of death in the next one year based on such background information of each individual. It then calculates excess risk of dying due to covid-19 at different infection rates and response strategies.

Without covid-19, the study estimates a one-year mortality rate of 4.46% for the high-risk population. This is higher for older men even without a high-risk condition compared with younger women with one such condition.

The study projects excess covid-19 deaths based on normally expected mortality rates. For example, for 25,000 men who have a lung disease and are more than 66 years old, a mortality rate of 6% leads to 1,639 deaths in a year. With 10% rate of infection, the authors predict 164 extra deaths in this category in the same time period.

For a scenario where infection rates are kept in control using strict measures, the study predicts up to seven additional deaths. In case mitigation measures are used to control infection, the prediction is much higher—up to 73,498 extra deaths. And for a do-nothing strategy, the authors estimate upto half a million additional deaths in England.

Also read: Estimating excess 1-year mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic according to underlying conditions and age: a population-based cohort study

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