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Large study further confirms diabetes is COVID-19 risk factor

Further evidence confirms diabetes, ethnicity and old age are among some of the major risk factors for becoming severely unwell with COVID-19.

A newly published study has analysed the health records of 17 million people in England and the findings further reinforce earlier results that have identified coronavirus severe risk factors.

Consistent with previous work the research said the risk of dying from the virus was higher among men, older people and people with greater deprivation. Black and Asian people were also found to be at a higher risk of death.

Further analysis drilled down into the numbers and found men had a greater (1.59-fold-higher) risk of dying from COVID-19 when compared to women and people in their 80s were 20 times more likely to die when compared to those in their 50s.

In addition to diabetes, other chronic health conditions such as obesity, severe asthma, and respiratory, chronic heart, liver, neurological, and autoimmune diseases were all associated with an increased risk of death from those who became infected with coronavirus.

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One of the athors on the study Dr Ben Goldacre, from the University of Oxford, said: “A lot of previous work has focused on patients that present at hospital. That’s useful and important, but we wanted to get a clear sense of the risks as an everyday person. Our starting pool is literally everybody.”

At the moment lockdown measures are currently being eased but people are being urged to wear face makes when inside public spaces and to keep washing their hands to help keep the spread of the virus at bay.

The study findings have been published in the Nature journal.

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