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Risk for older people in the community from coronavirus

3. The risk to you of coronavirus if you catch it

About 1 in 100 people who have coronavirus will die from it, but not everyone has the same level of risk. Here are the key risk factors for severe outcomes from coronavirus.


Although risk of catching coronavirus for people who live in the community isn’t affected by age, the risk of the worst outcomes is: age is the most important determinant of the risk of dying from coronavirus. The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre have studied around 10,000 people critically ill in hospital with coronavirus in the UK. After taking into account people’s health, sex, ethnicity and other characteristics they found that, compared to someone aged 60, the risk of dying was about doubled for someone aged 70 and almost quadrupled for someone aged 80.


Males have a higher risk of dying from coronavirus at all ages than females, although males and females are at similar risk of catching coronavirus. At most ages risk for males is about double that for females.


People of minority ethnicities have higher rates of mortality from coronavirus than white people. The reasons for this higher risk are complex, and are likely to be due to higher risks from coronavirus once a person has caught it as well as higher chances of catching coronavirus.

Some underlying conditions

Certain underlying conditions increase the risks from coronavirus. There is information about which health conditions may make people vulnerable to coronavirus here.

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