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Coronavirus risk for older people: the updated picture | Discover

The study also allows us to understand how the risk of dying for people who receive critical care for coronavirus is related to their age. Overall, about 2 of every 5 patients who receive critical care for coronavirus die. However, this is not the same for people of all ages, with risks, again, being higher for older people. While 1 out of 5 patients aged under 50 died, about 2 out of 5 patients in their 50s, half in their 60s and about 3 out of 5 patients aged 70 and over died.

What conclusions can we draw?

The current evidence suggests that older people who live in the community are not more likely than younger people to catch coronavirus. There is substantial evidence, however, that risks of having a more negative experience are greater the older you are if you do catch it, with risks increasing from people aged 50 and upwards. Age is therefore a very important consideration when we assess our own risk from coronavirus, and when we decide what activities to pursue or avoid.

However, age is not the only characteristic that influences our risk from coronavirus and it should be considered alongside other characteristics that influence risk, including sex, ethnicity, and certain pre-existing medical conditions.

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