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Growing Risk of COVID Among Adolescents

Jul 13, 2020 5:29 pm

The risk COVID-19 infection and mortality in the U.S. has been closely correlated with increasing age. However, recent data suggests that young adults (aged 18–25 years) have shown an increasing risk of COVID-19 infection since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Analysis of young adults (aged 18–25 years), in the National Health Interview Survey, examined the risk of COVID and additional operative risk factors. A medical vulnerability measure was developed using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention risk indicators.

CDC data shows much higher rates of COVID hospitalizations in those over 65 compared to younger people; but recent data says this risk has changed over time. For the week ending April 18, there were 8.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 amongst 18-to-29 yr. olds and a rate of 128.3 per 100,000 for those over 65 years. For the week ending June 27, the COVID hospitalization risk rose nearly 300% in young adults (34.7 per 100,000) compared to a 139% rise (306.7 per 100,000) in the elderly.

The UCSF study shows that the medical vulnerability was 32% for all adolescents but, was cut in half (16%) looking at the nonsmoking subset.  Other more vulnerable subsets included male over females (33% vs. 30%), whites over Hispanic and Asians (31% vs. 24% vs. 18%). 

These data demonstrate a risk risk of COVID in young adults, especially amongst those who are smokers. 

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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