Explained: Why elderly people who contract Covid-19 have the lowest survival rate

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Malte Mueller
Malte Mueller
Malte Mueller

Covid-19 is deadly if you are older than 60 and male, a large body of evidence has shown, including a report the World Health Organisation (WHO) released  this month.

"Covid-19 is not just hazardous for elderly people, it is extremely dangerous for people in their mid-fifties, sixties and seventies," Andrew Levin, an economist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, told Nature in 2020. He estimated that it was more than 50 times more likely that Covid-19 would be fatal for a 60-year-old than driving a car.

This high risk of death among the elderly may be due to "predetermined genetic limits" on cell division, according to new research by scientists at the University of Washington. 

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