Severe COVID-19 is more deadly than heart attacks among young adults, according to a new study.
Data were analyzed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the team’s findings were published on Wednesday in Jama Internal Medicine.
Of nearly 781,000 coronavirus patients discharged between April 1 and June 30, 5% were among young adults aged 18 to 34.
More than half of these patients were male and 57% were Black or Hispanic, which study authors said was “consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.”
Researchers listed some common comorbidities; nearly one in four patients were morbidly obese, 16% had hypertension and 18% were battling diabetes. These health conditions were tied to worse outcomes.
Further, young adults with multiple comorbidities faced risks on par with those seen among middle-aged adults without the underlying health conditions, study authors wrote.
The young, hospitalized adults “experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes,” per the study, with 21% requiring intensive care, 10% undergoing mechanical ventilation and nearly 3% died.
While this in-hospital mortality rate was less than reported figures for older coronavirus patients, it doubled the death rate for young adults with acute myocardial infarction or heart attacks.
"Given the sharply rising rates of COVID-19 infection in young adults, these findings underscore the importance of infection prevention measures in this age group," study authors wrote.