Genetic Testing for Medication Response and Population Risk Analysis Combine for Actionable Insights
From May 2020:
Data emerging through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global health watch organizations is beginning to paint a picture of who is at the highest risk of severe or fatal outcomes after contracting COVID-19. It is clear that people who already suffer from chronic medical conditions are far more likely to fare poorly. Other factors, like blood type and medications used, are also showing some evidence that they may be related to negative outcomes.
There will be no cure for COVID-19 any time soon. The global scientific community is keenly focused on scaling diagnostics to test for COVID-19 disease, assessing exposure through antibody testing, and developing effective therapeutics and a viable vaccine for long-term management of the virus. The large-scale roll-out will require comprehensive validation and manufacturing processes to ensure public safety. In the meantime, we need to make better use of the information and tools we already have today to lessen the impact of this disease outbreak.
Current data suggests that COVID-19 patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease have a fatality rate of 10.5% compared with those who have no pre-existing conditions, where the mortality rate is less than 1%. Diabetes, hypertension, cancer, chronic respiratory illness, and others are also associated with an increased risk of the virus proving fatal. The age and weight of the patient have also emerged as other key indicators of risk. Though likely a proxy for underlying general complexity of health conditions as we get older, it is clear that those suffering the most with COVID-19 are the eldest among us.