New Delhi: Young women with comorbidities like chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, hypertension had a higher risk of death due to Covid than males during the first phase of pandemic in India, according to a retrospective study.
A team of researchers of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi conducted the study on 2,586 Covid-19 hospitalised patients who were admitted in the hospital from April 8 to October 4, 2020.
The patients were divided into two categories: aged between 18-59 years; and those above 60 years of age. The team observed the association of diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and CKD on the prognosis and mortality of Covid infected hospitalised patients.
The conditions have been, from the beginning of the pandemic, associated with progression of Covid disease to severity and higher mortality risk. These have also been linked with prolonging the recovery period.
The findings, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, showed that patients with CKD were the most prone to severity as well as mortality, followed by high blood pressure and diabetes.
Compared to the elderly patients with these comorbidities, the severity of Covid infection as well as mortality was found to be much higher in younger patients.
Many studies have reported males to be at higher risk of infection than females. In this study, although the number of Covid admitted male patients (69.6 per cent) were more than twice the number of females (30.4 per cent), the risk of severity of infection and mortality was found to be higher amongst the females.
This is even after having the same comorbid conditions, except for the hypertensive patients, the researchers said.

“Our study showed risk of the severity of Covid-19 infection in younger patients with underlying comorbidities were found to be relatively at higher risk of severity of disease as well as to mortality compared to elderly patients with similar underlying condition,” said Dr Vivek Ranjan, co-author and Chairperson at the hospital’s Department of Blood Transfusion.

Out of the 2,586 patients, 779 (30.1 per cent) needed ICU admission, whereas 1,807 (69.9 per cent) did not require it. 
About 2,269 (87.7 per cent) recovered, while 317 (12.3 per cent) patients died.
“On comparing the impact of multiple comorbidities with the severity of Covid-19 infection, it was found that presence of comorbidity poses greater risk of ICU admission. As the number of comorbidities increases, the risk of severity of Covid-19 infection also increases significantly,” said Dr D.S. Rana, co-author and Chairperson, Department of Renal Sciences.