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Age, Sex, Existing Conditions of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

Last updated: February 29, 4:40 GMT

There are two sources that provide age, sex, and comorbidity statistics:


  • The Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission published on Feb. 28 by WHO, [2] which is based on 55,924 laboratory confirmed cases. The report notes that "The Joint Mission acknowledges the known challenges and biases of reporting crude CFR early in an epidemic" (see also our discussion on: How to calculate the mortality rate during an outbreak)
  • A paper by the Chinese CCDC released on Feb. 17, which is based on 72,314 confirmed, suspected, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in China as of Feb. 11, and was published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology [1]

We will list data from both, labeling them as "confirmed cases" and "all cases" respectively in the tables.

Age of Coronavirus Deaths

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by AGE:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on the age group. The percentages shown below do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the risk of dying if infected with COVID-19.

AGE
DEATH RATE
confirmed cases
DEATH RATE
all cases
80+ years old
21.9%
14.8%
70-79 years old
8.0%
60-69 years old
3.6%
50-59 years old
1.3%
40-49 years old
0.4%
30-39 years old
0.2%
20-29 years old
0.2%
10-19 years old
0.2%
0-9 years old
no fatalities

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). The percentages do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group.

In general, relatively few cases are seen among children.

Sex ratio

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by SEX:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on sex. When reading these numbers, it must be taken into account that smoking in China is much more prevalent among males. Smoking increases the risks of respiratory complications.

SEX
DEATH RATE
confirmed cases
DEATH RATE
all cases
Male
4.7%
2.8%
Female
2.8%
1.7%

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). The percentages do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by sex.

Pre-existing medical conditions (comorbidities)

Patients who reported no pre-existing ("comorbid") medical conditions had a case fatality rate of 0.9%. Pre-existing illnesses that put patients at higher risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection are:

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by COMORBIDITY:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on pre-existing condition. The percentage shown below does NOT represent in any way the share of deaths by pre-existing condition. Rather, it represents, for a patient with a given pre-existing condition, the risk of dying if infected by COVID-19.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
DEATH RATE
confirmed cases
DEATH RATE
all cases
Cardiovascular disease
13.2%
10.5%
Diabetes
9.2%
7.3%
Chronic respiratory disease
8.0%
6.3%
Hypertension
8.4%
6.0%
Cancer
7.6%
5.6%
no pre-existing conditions
0.9%

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). The percentages do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by condition.

Coronavirus Worldometer Sections:

Sources

  1. The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) - China CCDC, February 17 2020
  2. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [Pdf] - World Health Organization, Feb. 28, 2020