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The burden of chronic illness in India helped fuel the brutal wave of Covid

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High levels of chronic illness in India, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, helped brutal strokes Coronavirus wave Researchers said it struck the world’s second most populous country during a pandemic.

Findings from one of Covid-19’s few large studies in India showed that patients in the southern Madurai region were at higher risk of dying than patients in China, Europe, South Korea, and the United States. The test was asymptomatic. According to a report published in The Lancet, the chronic health of the community may have had an impact.

Over the years, India has faced a growing crisis of non-communicable diseases as the middle class expands and leads a more sedentary and affluent lifestyle. As a result, they are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, which account for almost two-thirds of all deaths in the country. These existing conditions allow the coronavirus to cause more damage, boost cases and deaths, and may contribute to the near-collapse of India’s healthcare system.

The mortality rate for Covid-19 patients with at least one health condition was 5.7%, while the mortality rate for other healthy patients was 0.7%. Data were from more than 400,000 people who underwent a coronavirus test known as RT-PCR in Madurai from May 20th to October 31st, 2020 during the first wave of India.

“The discovery that hypertension and diabetes actually predict the acquisition of Covid itself, or at least test positive on the RT-PCR test, is an important finding in itself,” said the lead author of the study, Center for. Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder of Disease Dynamics, said. “Let’s say India suffered from half of our diabetes and high blood pressure. Perhaps the effects of the second wave were much smaller,” Economics & Policy said in an interview.

Regarding the government’s response to curb pathogen damage, he said, health management common to the population should be at the top of the list.

Mass underreporting

Researchers also evaluated what appears to be a large underreporting of Covid cases and mortality in India, after assessing the infection-to-death ratio, and already infected between October 19 and November 5. He emphasized the number of Madurai people who were producing fighting antibodies. last year. The results show that the test detected only 1.4% of infections and only 11% of the expected deaths.

Some scientists estimate that as many as 5 million people could have died after Indian hospitals were overwhelmed during the second wave, which peaked in mid-May. The death toll was lower than expected given the number of known infectious diseases, the researchers said.

Researchers at the Tamil Nadu Government, the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health also contributed to the study.

In preparation for India’s expected third Covid wave, some experts predict that it will be smaller than the second wave and may peak in October. This is partially blunted by widening vaccination barriers and naturally acquired antibodies from past outbreaks. A national survey in July found that two-thirds of Indians over the age of six were infected with the coronavirus.

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