While old people are widely believed to be at greater risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new study shows younger patients too are vulnerable to adverse clinical outcomes.
For the study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the research team analyzed records from 419 hospitals to study the clinical trajectories of 3,222 hospitalized Covid-19 patients aged 18-34.
Researchers found that over one-fifth of the patients (21 percent) required intensive care, 10 percent required mechanical ventilation and 2.7 percent died.
"There was a significant rate of adverse outcomes," said study author Jonathan Cunningham from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US.
"Even though a 2.7 percent death rate is lower than for older patients, it's high for young people who typically do well even when hospitalized for other conditions," Cunningham added.
Individuals with cardiovascular risk factors were also over-represented among the young people hospitalized -- 36.8 percent and 24.5 percent of patients had obesity and morbid obesity, respectively; 18.2 percent of patients had diabetes and 16.1 percent had hypertension.
The researchers found that patients who presented these comorbidities were also more likely to experience adverse outcomes.
Patients with morbid obesity, for example, comprised 41 percent of the hospitalized young adults who died or required mechanical ventilation.
For individuals with more than one of these conditions, risks for adverse outcomes were comparable to the risks faced by middle-aged adults, aged 35-64, who had none of these conditions, as observed in a study of 8,862 members of this population.
The researchers stressed that the dataset, which relies on hospital administrative claims, only lends insight into the adverse outcomes of hospitalized young people.
"We think the vast majority of people in this age range have a self-limited disease and don't require hospitalization. But if you do, the risks are really substantial," the study authors noted. Source: IANS