Anyone can be susceptible to the novel coronavirus, but researchers looking at past cases have studied who is most likely to be infected. A report on the characteristics of the first people tested has been published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. Of 3,800 people tested, researchers say nearly 600 were positive for COVID-19.
Prevalence of infections was less than five percent in patients under the age of 18 but almost four times as high in people over 40. Researchers say infection risk was higher among men than women, in black patients more than white, and in people with obesity than those with a healthy weight. They say infection was also higher int hose living in more disadvantaged or urban areas.
Researchers do say household size does not seem to significantly affect infection risk. Among those suffering from two or more chronic diseases at the same time, only those with chronic kidney disease had an increased risk of infection. The risk in active smokers was around half that observed in those who have never smoked.
Researchers say that while this study is an important contribution to the independent risks of the novel coronavirus, the data is not fully representative of the general population and more research needs to be done.