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Average age of India’s Covid deaths 60

NEW DELHI: The average age of 125 people who had died in India from Covid-19 till Monday was 60 years, data collated by TOI from states shows. While this is significantly lower than in countries such as Italy, where the average is closer to 80, this is due to a younger population in India than in most Western countries. Age-wise case fatality rates (deaths as a percentage of confirmed cases) worked out on the basis of official data for 4,097 cases and 109 deaths put out on Monday confirm this.
Against an overall CFR of 2.7%, the figure for those below 40 years was 0.4%. It was 2.4% for those between 50 and 60, and 8.9% for those over 60. This is in line with the trend in other countries.

The data collated by TOI also showed that the most common co-morbidities among those who died of Covid-19 so far were diabetes and hypertension, and in a large number of cases both conditions were present together. This too is not unlike the rest of the world though there are variations. In China, for instance, the death rate was highest among people with heart diseases or those with lung diseases, followed by diabetes and hypertension.
Information on co-morbidities was available for 86 people who died. This showed that more than half of them (56%) were diabetic and almost half (47%) had hypertension. Over a third of the 86 had both diabetes and hypertension. One in five suffered from asthma or lung disease. Only 16% had cardiac disease along with diabetes and/or hypertension. Renal disease too was reported in several of those who died.
The data does not record how severely diabetic or hypertensive the person was or how serious the lung disease was. It is not possible to say, therefore, how much of a bearing the extent of pre-existing morbidities had on the probability of death.
More than 40% of the cases examined had two pre-existing disease conditions, while over 17% had more than three co-morbidities. Only about a third of those who died (35%) had just one co-morbidity.
The fact that diabetes emerged as the leading co-morbidity among those felled by the disease in India is significant given the fact that an estimated 9.4% of the country is diabetic — 12% of the urban population and nearly 8% of rural — according to an ICMR study on prevalence of diabetes and hypertension. The same study also showed that up to 30% of the population — 33% in urban and 28% in rural had higher than normal blood pressure levels.
While a combination of diabetes and hypertension is bad enough as a risk factor, what makes it worse is that this risk increases with age. The prevalence of hypertension was over 60% in the above 55 years age group and that for diabetes was almost 30% in the same age group.


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