Covid ‘multiplied by the same amount the death rate for most adults in the UK’


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A new study has suggested that the oronavirus increases the chances of people dying proportionally in the population, regardless of underlying health problems.


However, this increase has been most impacted by the number of people dying from pre-existing health conditions, as they were already at higher risk.

Using GP data, the researchers estimated more deaths in the UK during the first wave of the pandemic – between 5 March and 27 May last year – in nearly 10 million adults aged 40 and over.


They compared these to pre-epidemic mortality from any cause among people with different health and socio-economic profiles.

According to the data, the death rate on average increased by only 40% during the wave compared to before the pandemic.

The researchers found that the increase in mortality was largely consistent across populations, regardless of people’s health conditions and other characteristics.


Our work has shown that the risk posed by COVID-19 increases equally with age-related weakness or ill health and a wide range of respiratory and non-respiratory medical conditions.

However, the researchers do highlight that before the pandemic people with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease or asthma had higher death rates than people without these conditions.

Therefore, increasing their likelihood of dying by 40% compared to healthy individuals had a more complete effect.


Professor Sir David Spiegelter, Chair of the Winton Center for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, said: “It is good to confirm that the risks from Covid have been proportional to the individual risks we all face in life – it serves us to If there are any weaknesses, exaggerate them.

“As the authors state, even though we all have a similar relative risk, a higher baseline leads to a weaker start and therefore a higher absolute risk of dying.

“For reasons that are not entirely clear, this virus chooses the weak and vulnerable. It’s a bully.”

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