The risk groups for the lung disease Covid-19 mainly include older people. But more and more younger infected people develop severe complications. A study from the USA found out that the corona risk facing young people is high
The coronavirus causes more serious illnesses in seniors than in other age groups. However, the proportion of younger people is not as low as expected at the start of the pandemic. The corona risk facing young people is almost the same as that facing adults. They too can get seriously ill with Covid-19.
Current data from the USA show that the proportion of young corona patients who had to be treated in hospitals has increased significantly since April. According to the CDC, there were 8.7 hospital admissions per 100,000 inhabitants from the age group of 18 to 29 year olds by mid-April. Among people over 65 years of age, it was 128.3 out of 100,000. By the end of June, however, the proportion of young adults had tripled, while that of older people had increased by a factor of 1.4. This is reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.
One in three young adults could be at risk
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have investigated possible causes for this increase. Using representative data from more than 8,400 test subjects, they found that every third young adult between the ages of 18 and 25 could be prone to a severe course of Covid-19.
The reason for this is certain risk factors that – regardless of age – favor severe courses. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal “Journal of Adolescent Health”.
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The corona risk facing young people increases their odds of developing serious illnesses
Typical risk factors that can also apply to young people include smoking and chronic diseases such as:
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Liver disease
• autoimmune diseases
In the study, the subjects were considered to be at risk if they had at least one risk factor. Of the 8,400 young adults, 25 percent said they had smoked tobacco, e-cigarettes or cigars in the past 30 days. According to the scientists, therefore, the greatest risk factor for young people is their cigarette consumption.
In contrast, only about 16 percent of the test subjects were affected by chronic diseases. Asthma was the most common disease at around nine percent. However, the researchers emphasize that even young patients with no previous illnesses can be at risk of a severe Covid-19 case. Because genetic factors also play a role in infectious diseases.
Smokers are more prone to serious illnesses
“Smoking can have significant effects in young adults, who tend to have low rates for most chronic diseases,” the UCSF press release said. Accordingly, smoking could also have a major impact on the course of Covid-19.
According to the current state of research, the coronavirus first attacks the lungs. Patients who already suffer from lung damage caused by smoking could develop severe respiratory problems as a result of Covid-19 – sometimes even fatal.
“The risk of being medically at risk is cut in half if smokers, including e-cigarette users, are removed from the sample,” the researchers write. According to the authors of the study, only about one in six young adults who do not smoke are susceptible to severe Covid 19 disease. Every effort to stop is worth it.
WHO warns against nicotine addiction
A few days before the study was published, the World Health Organization warned of the link between smoking and severe corona cases. If you want to quit smoking, the corona pandemic is the perfect incentive to quit, said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference on July 10. It has been proven that smokers are more prone to getting seriously ill with Covid-19 than non-smokers.
In Germany, the proportion of adolescents and young adults who smoke has been falling for years. This is proven by data from the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA). But this positive trend is also accompanied by a negative development: The consumption of water pipes and e-cigarettes among adolescents and young adults continues to rise.