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Coronavirus | Three out of four COVID-19 patients have comorbidities, says Health Ministry data

Wide variety: Patients leaving the COVID-19 ward after testing at Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai. People with various comorbities have been infected. File   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Nearly three in four COVID patients have comorbidites and the proportion of those with diabetes and hypertension — the most common of secondary ailments — has fallen since July, an analysis of data on trends in COVID-19 prevalence maintained by the Health Ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) reveals.

The data are sourced from details of hospital records from all over the country that are provided to the IDSP and, as of September 20, consists of a sample of 34,616 positive people and is a sliver of India’s 5.4 million case load as of Sunday.

In July, when comparable data was made public by the organisation, only 8% of 16,155, whose data were publicised by the IDSP, were diabetic and 9% hypertensive. That has now fallen to 5.74% and 5.21% respectively and a category called ‘others’ that denotes a patient with at least one comorbid condition, has jumped to 58.85% from 30% in July.

Wide variety

An official connected to the IDSP said that with a rise in case load a wider profile of people were being infected and the wide variety of comorbidities that normally exist in a large population were coming to the fore. For the IDSP’s purposes, only comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, asthma, chronic renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immunocompromised conditions, malignancy, bronchitis and chronic neuromuscular disease are publicised. Except for diabetes and hypertension, each of these conditions on their own account for less than 2% of overall comorbidities. “There are a great many associated disorders and because the virus has spread so widely and testing so exponentially expanded, the large range of underlying conditions in our population is coming to the fore,” the person, who did not wish to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media, added.

About 48% of 1,74,000 samples were from 21-40 years and 64% were male. Only 8% were over 51 years old. At a press briefing last month, Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary, furnished data that revealed only 11% of COVID positives who died were 26-44 years and the majority — or 51% — were 60 and above.

When 20,000 cases with ‘signs of admission’ were analysed, 86% were categorised as having ‘other signs’ and the next prominent category — abnormal lung X-ray/CT scan — comprised only around 7%.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 10:55:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-three-in-four-covid-patients-have-comorbidities/article32654793.ece

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