Survey: Some diseases raise COVID-19 death rate

NHK -- Oct 01
A survey by a medical research center in Japan shows the fatality rate of people infected with the coronavirus is higher among those with chronic kidney or heart diseases.

The National Center for Global Health and Medicine published the result of its survey on 6,070 coronavirus patients who had been hospitalized at 345 facilities nationwide by early September.

The survey shows the fatality rate of patients who were in serious condition and required oxygen inhalers or ventilators when they were admitted to hospital was 10.1 percent in June and afterward.

The figure was significantly lower in all age groups than at the time of the first wave of infections, which was 19.4 percent.

The center says the drop in the rate is apparently due to such factors as patients getting treatment sooner and the establishment of treatment methods.

The center points out that the average number of days from the onset of symptoms to hospital admission was 5.1 days in June and later, which was 2.5 days shorter than during the first wave of infections.

The center says the number of patients in serious condition at time of admission to hospital also declined to less than one-fifth.

About factors that could lead to death, the center says the fatality rates for patients who were in serious condition when they were admitted to hospital were 44 percent for those with kidney malfunction, 40.5 percent for those with chronic heart disease, and 39.5 percent for people with cerebrovascular disorder.

On the other hand, people with obesity and hyperlipemia were more likely to become seriously ill than people with no pre-existing conditions, but their mortality rate was lower than for people with other chronic diseases.

A doctor who was engaged in the survey says it is possible to reduce the death rates for patients who have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.

The center plans to conduct more analyses on lifestyle and other factors that could cause severe conditions or death.