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Online calculator reveals how likely you are to die from coronavirus

Online calculator reveals how likely you are to die from coronavirus

A team of scientists in the UK have built a calculator that can predict a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19.

The online tool, developed by researchers at University College London, predicts a one-year mortality rate based on factors such as sex, age, and underlying conditions as well as the levels of coronavirus infection in the population and strain on the health service.

The calculator is a part of a study involving 3.8 million health records from England, which concluded that “stringent” restrictions must be sustained to prevent excess deaths.

Lead author Dr Amitava Banerjee said older people, particularly those with underlying conditions, were asking what easing coronavirus restrictions could mean for their health.

“For example, we show how a 66-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has 6 per cent risk of dying over the next year and there are 25,000 ‘patients like me’ [men of the same age with the same condition] in England,” he said.

“The calculator estimates 164 excess COVID-19-related deaths on top of the expected 1,639 deaths over a year in patients in a similar situation.

“Our findings show the mortality risk for these vulnerable groups increases significantly and could lead to thousands of avoidable deaths.”

The calculator works using a given age, sex, and underlying health condition along with the level of suppression measures in the area using a mortality impact of 1.5 per cent.

The tool then calculates the one-year mortality rate, or the number of people with similar characteristics in England who would have died pre-coronavirus from other causes.

It also forecasts the excess mortality under the COVID-19 emergency – that is, the number of additional deaths among the group of people due to coronavirus.

The study’s co-author Professor Harry Hemingway told Independent.co.uk: “Our findings emphasise the importance of delivering consistent preventive interventions to people with a wide range of diseases, who are cared for by a wide range of clinical specialties.”