30 juli 2021: Bron: European Journal of Epidemiology volume 35pages1123–1138 (2020)

Uit een grote reviewstudie naar de gevolgen en oorzaken van het coronavirus - Covid-19 blijkt dat niet alleen ouderen maar ook mensen van middelbare leeftijd kwetsbaar zijn om door het coronavirus in het ziekenhuis te belanden. De kans om te overlijden aan de besmetting met het coronavirus is vele malen groter dan het jaarlijkse risico op een dodelijk auto-ongeluk en veel gevaarlijker dan een seizoensgriep. Een Engels persoon in de leeftijd van 55-64 jaar die besmet raakt met SARS-CoV-2 loopt bijvoorbeeld een overlijdensrisico dat meer dan 200 keer hoger is dan het jaarlijkse risico om te overlijden bij een dodelijk auto-ongeluk. Deze resultaten bevestigen ook dat COVID-19 veel dodelijker is dan een  seizoensgriep; zoals ook de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie aangeeft dat de mortaliteit door seizoensgriep gewoonlijk ver onder de 0,1% ligt, tenzij de toegang tot gezondheidszorg wordt beperkt.

Er staan in deze reviewstudie nog veel meer gedetailleerde gegevens. Voor wie het interesseert klik op de titel voor het volledige studierapport:

Assessing the age specificity of infection fatality rates for COVID-19: systematic review, meta-analysis, and public policy implications


Determine age-specific infection fatality rates for COVID-19 to inform public health policies and communications that help protect vulnerable age groups. Studies of COVID-19 prevalence were collected by conducting an online search of published articles, preprints, and government reports that were publicly disseminated prior to 18 September 2020. The systematic review encompassed 113 studies, of which 27 studies (covering 34 geographical locations) satisfied the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Age-specific IFRs were computed using the prevalence data in conjunction with reported fatalities 4 weeks after the midpoint date of the study, reflecting typical lags in fatalities and reporting. Meta-regression procedures in Stata were used to analyze the infection fatality rate (IFR) by age.

Our analysis finds a exponential relationship between age and IFR for COVID-19. The estimated age-specific IFR is very low for children and younger adults (e.g., 0.002% at age 10 and 0.01% at age 25) but increases progressively to 0.4% at age 55, 1.4% at age 65, 4.6% at age 75, and 15% at age 85.

Moreover, our results indicate that about 90% of the variation in population IFR across geographical locations reflects differences in the age composition of the population and the extent to which relatively vulnerable age groups were exposed to the virus. These results indicate that COVID-19 is hazardous not only for the elderly but also for middle-aged adults, for whom the infection fatality rate is two orders of magnitude greater than the annualized risk of a fatal automobile accident and far more dangerous than seasonal influenza. Moreover, the overall IFR for COVID-19 should not be viewed as a fixed parameter but as intrinsically linked to the age-specific pattern of infections. Consequently, public health measures to mitigate infections in older adults could substantially decrease total deaths.

In summary, our analysis demonstrates that COVID-19 is not only dangerous for the elderly and infirm but also for healthy middle-aged adults. The metaregression explains nearly 90% of the geographical variation in population IFR, indicating that the population IFR is intrinsically linked to the age-specific pattern of infections. Consequently, public health measures to protect vulnerable age groups could substantially reduce the incidence of mortality.


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