New York, December 12
Researchers, including one of Indian origin, have developed a new online calculator to estimate the individual and community level risk of dying from Covid-19.
The study, published in the journal Natural medicine, revealed that the calculator will be useful for public health authorities to assess mortality risks in different communities and to prioritize certain groups for vaccination as Covid-19 vaccines become available.
The algorithm underlying the calculator uses information from large existing studies to estimate the risk of mortality from Covid-19 for people based on age, gender, sociodemographic factors, and a variety of different health conditions.
The risk estimates apply to people in the general population who are currently uninfected and capture the factors associated with the risks of future infection and post-infection complications.
“Our calculator represents a more quantitative approach and should complement other proposed qualitative guidelines for determining individual and community risks and vaccine allocation,” said lead study author Nilanjan Chatterjee of the US Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. USA
The model-based calculator is available online to public health officials and interested individuals alike. It allows a user to determine individual risk based on factors such as age, gender, race / ethnicity, and medical history and can be used to define risk for a group, such as a particular community, corporation or university, based on the mix of relevant factors that define the group.
In their article, the research team used their calculator to describe the distribution of risk for the entire US population, showing, for example, that only about four percent of the population at high risk, defined as a risk five times higher than the US average is expected to contribute about 50 percent of all deaths. The researchers also showed that population-level risk varies considerably from city to city and county to county.
“For example, the percentage of the adult population that exceeds the five-fold risk threshold ranges from 0.4 percent in Layton, Utah, to 10.7 percent in Detroit, Michigan,” Chatterjee said.
The calculator allows users to calculate the mortality risk of individuals by combining information on factors at the individual level with the dynamics of a pandemic at the community level, available in a wide variety of forecasting models.
Therefore, when a large wave of infections hits a population, the risk estimates for individuals will increase in that community. Currently, the tool is updated weekly to incorporate information on the dynamics of a pandemic at the state level. – IANS