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What is the difference in survival rates of people infected with covid who are members of the group defined as all people 70 years of age and older (say) compared with the group of all people of that age group who are in perfect health (except for having covid), i.e. no comorbidities (nonsmokers, not medically overweight, no diabetes, etcetera)?

Note that by infected I mean all cases including mild or even asymptomatic cases.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2020/10/06/what-is-your-risk-of-dying-from-covid-19/?sh=7478f66a6159 takes an approach that I like, which is to give plenty of easily understood numbers, with easily understood units like loss of life expectancy, but it seems to me that Forbes neglect the fact that the older you are, the more likely you are to have a comorbidity or two and therefore presumably some or maybe even most of the reason old people tend to have high death rates from covid is that the comorbidities killing people and age is correlated with that.

Forbes says: "Those under age 50 who get infected with the coronavirus lose less than one day of discounted quality-adjusted life expectancy; seniors age 70 or older lose nearly 90 days."

There is no information about what the loss of days of life expectancy is for healthy seniors.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-age.html also makes no mention of comorbities.

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/coronavirus-deaths-older-adults.html is well-written and informative except for not giving any numbers specifying the change in survival rate when a comorbidity is added.

The article starts with the following statement: "In a pandemic filled with grim statistics, one of the grimmest has gone largely unnoticed: 95 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have occurred among people who were 50 or older. This even though the majority of coronavirus cases have been reported in people under age 50."

Nothing about what percentage of covid deaths were of people above fifty who were free of comorbidities.

It has an interesting list but it's only qualitative:

"People with the following conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, the CDC says:

Cancer
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate to severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension
Dementia or other neurological conditions
Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
Down syndrome
Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
HIV infection
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
Liver disease
Overweight and obesity (defined as a body mass index of 25 or greater)
Pregnancy
Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
Smoking, current or former
Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant (includes bone marrow transplants)
Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
Substance use disorders (such as alcohol, opioid or cocaine use disorder)

Source: CDC"

And I've not been able to find out anything about this anywhere.

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  • This preprint includes some information from an analysis done using data from Hungary that gets at your question. It does not answer your question. medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.13.21257193v1 Jun 2 at 19:23
  • It's nearly impossible to design a study to answer the question as asked here. You may be able to use the intercept in a model that includes all these other comorbidities, but even that measure is likely to be quite flawed. There are really no "healthy old people" (or healthy young people, for that matter). Jun 2 at 20:24
  • @DianaPetitti This also does not answer my question, but it is extremely interesting and well-written, and arguably 'gets at' it: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4328740 Jun 3 at 14:41
  • @BryanKrause "There are really no "healthy old people" (or healthy young people, for that matter)." Would you care to expand on that? Jun 3 at 15:26
  • @Security Every Day Yes, the article you identified is very interesting and well-written. I read the article from Hungary a bit more carefully and found a mention on page 8 that: "Overall, 14.1% of the deceased patients had no comorbidity (from the investigated 11 ones)" But many "co-morbid" conditions are not among the 11 (e.g. obesity, depression, arthritis) and the concept of "completely healthy" is elusive. Jun 3 at 18:16

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