Lowest death rate from Covid-19 was found in countries with populations that are not overweight

(ORDO NEWS) — Covid-19 infection and fatality rates vary considerably between countries, but it is not yet clear what factors influence success in the fight against covid.

An international team of scientists, which included a representative of the MIPT Laboratory for the Analysis of Population Health Indicators and Digitalization of Health Care, conducted a comparative analysis of the impact of 25 factors on morbidity and mortality from Covid-19 in 177 countries from January 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

The study found that low levels of trust in government, high population density, and overweight citizens were key risk factors.

The results of the study were published in The Lancet. Analyzing differences between countries is important for more efficient resource allocation, early detection and prevention of epidemics in the future.

To solve this problem, the Institute for Health Metrics and Metrics (IHME) extracted data from the Covid-19 database of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, supplemented with indicators from national health ministries and departments, and assembled them into one single model.

Based on the accumulated statistics, we can say that Covid-19 is a rather atypical disease in terms of epidemiology, since infection and mortality do not follow the pattern of other infectious diseases: rich countries with quality healthcare bear a greater burden (damage due to loss of public health) than poor ones.

Upper-middle-income countries contain 48 percent of the world’s population but account for 53 percent of total deaths, despite much higher vaccination rates.

In addition, mortality rates vary greatly even among neighboring countries. For example, in Bulgaria, death rates from Covid-19 exceed four cases per 1,000 people, while in Turkey’s neighbors this figure is two times lower. Moreover, no direct relationship was found between universal health coverage and mortality rates.

Infection rates

The most significant contributors to the variations in SARS-CoV-2 infection rates between countries were the following: proportion of the population living within 100 meters of sea level (the incidence of lower respiratory tract infections is lower in such regions), GDP per capita, the proportion of infections due to seasonality (for example, a seasonal influenza epidemic).

Measures of trust in government, interpersonal trust , and low levels of corruption in the country had statistically significant associations with low infection rates. Trust, as well as low levels of corruption, have been associated with higher vaccination coverage in middle- and high-income countries.

Fatality rate

Among the reasons for the variation in values, the key factors were the age of the population (countries with a predominance of the elderly were hit harder by Covid-19), the level of economic well-being (GDP per capita) and the average body mass index had a lesser effect.

For example, countries with a predominantly elderly population, such as Japan, Portugal, and Spain, had high age-related fatality rates, while, conversely, countries with predominantly young populations, such as Afghanistan, Mozambique, and Zambia, were in a better position .

It is worth noting that between January 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, Iceland and Singapore have largely succeeded in preventing infection and death. In contrast, India, Bolivia, and Peru had high infection and fatality rates.

Taiwan and Vietnam did a good job of preventing infections, but they had high mortality rates. Meanwhile, Georgia and Qatar have had the opposite experience, with less success in preventing infection but low mortality rates.


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