Although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is advancing rapidly, some populations exhibit severe reactions while others either remain asymptomatic for the entire duration of infection or recover without the need for medical intervention.
With the coordinated efforts of preceding literature and radiographic evidence, a new meta-analysis has successfully identified the most instructive mechanisms at play.
The new study, conducted by a team of doctors based out of Shanghai between December 2019 and February 2020, submit age, health status, and clinical accessibility as compelling predictors of the novel coronavirus’s progression rate and intensity.
“Recently, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak started in Wuhan, China. Although the clinical features of COVID-19 have been reported previously, data regarding the risk factors associated with the clinical outcomes are lacking,” the authors wrote in the new paper. “To our knowledge, this is the first evidence-based medicine research to explore the risk factors of prognosis in patients with COVID-19, which is helpful to identify early-stage patients with poor prognosis and adapt effective treatment.”
With the help of 30 previously published papers, the authors analyzed 53,000 participants in the service of their new meta-study.
Severe and lethal incidents represented about 20.2% and 3.1% of the confirmed cases reviewed respectively. The average age of the subject pool was 49.8.
The severity of the cases was characterized by breathing exceeding 12 to 20 breaths a minute, low levels of oxygen in the blood; and lung damage that worsened by 50% or more within a 24 to 48-hour window. Researchers were able to apply these standards to each case with data logged at the time of hospitalization.
Men and smokers were roughly 1.3 times more likely to evidence life-threatening incarnations of Covid-19.
Pre-existing conditions were the most consistent predictors of infection severity. More discreetly, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders more than doubled the likelihood of aggressive viral manifestations.
Sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder were between 2 and 11 times more likely to endure severe prodromes and patients with kidney disease were between 2- and 16-fold more likely to evidence the same.
Inflammation appeared to be the strongest correlation linking the pre-existing conditions above, though state-level mandates and densely populated medical facilities are likely playing a huge role as well.
On balance, people are exercising less to comply with isolation measures and patients who require consistent clinical care have limited access to restorative activities and therapeutics. like dialysis and ventilators.
Before the publication of this meta-analysis, the medical community was divided on whether or not patients who have their pre-existing conditions under control still exacerbate their risk of developing lethal incarnations of Covid-19.
“It does not make a lot of sense that if somebody is otherwise healthy and young and they have hypertension alone, that they should be at increased risk,” Dr. Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer at the American Heart Association, told NPR.
Even with these qualifications added to our data set, some otherwise healthy youths exhibit severe Covid-19 symptoms around the world. Moreover, the majority of cases are being transmitted by the youth. With so much still unknown, many virologists recommend the public at large air on the side of caution given the virus’s high basic reproduction number and unpredictable incubation cycle.