CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

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Kilkis
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Re: CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

Postby Kilkis » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:19 pm

I heard a different way of looking at the mortality rate from one of the scientists involved with Coronavirus today. We are all aware that it seems to affect the elderly more than the young but that may not be quite what it seems. Whatever age you are there is a probability that you will die during that year. Suppose you are 50. If you take everybody who dies at the age of 50 in a year and divide by the total number of people who are 50 at that time you get the probability of dying at age 50. The same is true of every age. That probability increases with increasing age. You can now consider that the Covid-19 disease increases your probability of dying at that age over what it would have been if the disease hadn't appeared. When you look at it from that viewpoint it turns out that COVID-19 increases the probability of dying at any particular age by the same amount for all age groups. It doesn't really discriminate.

For simplicity lets say it doubles your probability of dying no matter how old you are. It isn't that big a factor but it doesn't matter, it still illustrates the principle. If you are 20, for example, you have a very low probability of dying in that year. Even if you double that probability it is still a very small probability so it looks like 20 year olds are not really affected. If you are 80, however, you have quite a high probability of dying in that year. If COVID-19 doubles that probability it has an enormous effect.

Warwick

Jean
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Re: CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

Postby Jean » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:03 pm

When you look at it from that viewpoint it turns out that COVID-19 increases the probability of dying at any particular age by the same amount for all age groups. It doesn't really discriminate.

That's an interesting way to look at it. Have they come up with a percentage yet?

Kilkis
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Re: CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

Postby Kilkis » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:10 pm

He didn't quote a percentage in the interview. I am guessing it probably needs more work, i.e. it is a preliminary result. I think death rate is a pretty uncertain statistic at the moment with many deaths due to COVID-19 not being recorded as such and possibly some that aren't beign recorded in the COVID-19 data.

Another interesting discussion was around the evidence that the death rate is proportionally higher amongst people from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic origin, BAME, i.e. the percentage dying in this group is significantly higher than their percentage in the population. There could be many factors causing that, such as that group are disproportionally from poorer backgrounds with general poorer health. However the higher percentage is true amongst BAME medical staff and obviously doctors are not exactly poor. Another suggestion from a doctor today is that it is well established that BAME members are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency and, while that is mainly associated with bone diseases, it also weakens the immune system. COVID-19 achieves its most extreme effects by hijacking the immune system. Vitamin D is primarily synthesised by the skin when exposed to sunlight but the higher Melanin content in the skin of BAME members means that they do this much less efficiently. He was suggesting that taking a Vitamin D supplement may be beneficial. The body can't store Vitamin D so it has to be replenished every day. It can't do any harm to take a supplement.

Another piece of evidence, for which there is currently no understanding, is that the people who need ventilation are predominantly men. I've seen a figure of 75 % but I wouldn't be certain it is that high. People who catch the virus and develop symptoms are roughly equally men and women so it is not clear why it seems to produce extreme symptoms more in men.

Lots of interesting stuff.

Warwick

filippos
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Re: CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

Postby filippos » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:18 pm

Bearing in mind that it's thought that being overweight or obese increases the likelihood of death perhaps there are more fat men than fat women.

Kilkis
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Re: CoronaVirus now confirmed on Crete

Postby Kilkis » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:12 pm

There is indeed a slight excess but not enough to account for the difference in the percentage needing ventilators. According to an NHS survey carried out in 2018: "More than two-thirds of men and 6 in 10 women are overweight or obese". That wouldn't account for a 3:1 discrepancy.

Warwick


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