Scientists have calculated how the incidence of COVID-19 is related to age. The simulations they performed also demonstrate the likelihood that people of different ages will develop symptoms of infection.
People under the age of 20 are approximately half as likely to develop COVID-19 as those who are older. In a new study, which is published in Natural medicine, scientists evaluated how age affects the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and the onset of disease symptoms.
Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine report that understanding the role of age in transmitting the disease plays a big role in determining what effect to expect from social distance, as well as in predicting the number of cases of the disease.
According to the authors of the new study, in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients aged 10 to 19 years, the symptoms of the disease appear in 21% of cases. By the age of 70 years and older, the probability of their occurrence increases to 69%.
In children, COVID-19 is recorded much less frequently than in adults. Scientists point out that this may be due to their lower predisposition, a rarer manifestation of symptoms in this age group, or a combination of these factors.
Scientists have developed a model for the transmission of coronavirus depending on age, which is based on evidence from 32 sites in six different countries (China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada, South Korea). They also used data from six studies evaluating the association of COVID-19 with age. The authors indicate that their model allows a parallel assessment of predisposition to infection and the onset of clinical symptoms of the disease.
The study included modeling the COVID-19 epidemic in 146 capitals around the world. It showed that the number of cases in the absence of a fight against the spread of infection will depend on the average age of the inhabitants. According to the model, a greater number of cases of COVID-19 with clinical manifestations are expected in cities whose population is on average older. At the same time, the average number of people infected by one infected person was not significantly dependent on the average age of the population.
The authors noted that in countries with a younger population (these are mainly low-income countries), the incidence may be lower, but concomitant diseases in the population can affect the severity of the disease.