President Trump has COVID-19. In some ways, that seems inevitable – the Campaign Path is a high-contact sport and the President was unconcerned about public health guidelines. But what comes next is far from certain. And it depends who the president is is, not just what he’s doing.
Although Trump is in overall good health according to his publicly released annual physical data (which is worth noting contains information only at the discretion of the presidential doctor) he has some risk factors that increase the chances of serious infection, hospitalization, and death. He is 74 years old, male, and obese – 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 244 poundsis his body mass index 30.5, just above the line on the definition of obesity. While Trump does not have high blood pressure, his youngest doctor said his blood pressure was 121 over 79, which is considered “elevated”. But how risky are these factors?
Let’s start with age. When it comes to COVID-19, the older you are, the higher the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, ventilation, and death. Fundamental problems like high blood pressure and diabetes also increase your risk and are often linked to age. The riskiest comorbidity, however, is how long you’ve been alive.
“Even when large numbers of comorbidities are controlled, age is still the most important predictor of death,” said Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious disease biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
This was documented in many studies in the last few months, but one of the most comprehensive was published in Nature in July. Researchers from Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined the medical records of more than 17 million adult patients in the UK (some tested positive for COVID-19 and some did not) and found that there was a risk of death from COVID-19 increased with age, even when all other risk factors were taken into account. Patients aged 70-79 years old were 6.07 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than patients aged 50-59 years old, and patients over 80 years old were 20.6 times more likely to die compared to those aged 50.
In the USA., 8 out of 10 deaths related to COVID-19 were according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in adults aged 65 and over and in patients aged 65 to 74 years 5 times more likely Are hospitalized and die 90 times more often from COVID-19 than between the ages of 18 and 29. Why? Older people tend to have higher prevalence of underlying diseases that we know increase the risk declining immune responses.
As a man, Trump is also at a higher risk of side effects than the first lady, who also tested positive for COVID-19. Again, several studies have documented the correlation between gender and more severe outcomes of COVID-19 infection, although the exact numbers vary. In the US almost 1.5 times more men than women in Trump’s age cohort have died of COVID-19. Part of this gender difference is still a mystery to researchers, however a new paper published last week in Science found that a genetic predisposition to certain immune responses is more common in men, which may partly explain the gap.
After all, we know that the president’s weight is also likely to put him at a higher risk of a severe or fatal attack of COVID-19. One Meta-analysis of research published in August found that obese people who contracted COVID-19 were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized, 74 percent more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, and 48 percent more likely to die compared to healthy weight patients. The CDC has stated that obesity could triple the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19. And, much like old age, obesity is one factor that can increase a person’s risk of side effects regardless of other factors – even young, otherwise healthy patients are at greater risk of serious infections, hospitalizations, and death if they are obese Dr. Nitin Mohan, an infectious disease specialist at Western University in Canada.
“It’s one of those risk factors that puts you at serious risk for COVID regardless of age,” Mohan said. “When the body goes through any kind of disease process, your immune system gets strained and it works pretty hard. The healthier you are, the better your chances are. “
Even though Trump is on the verge of obesity, Obesity is also a risk factorAs a result, his weight is still an issue even if he has lost a few pounds since his last exercise. Even so, there has been at least some disputes in the scientific community about the role weight plays as a risk factor in COVID-19: A current study of 88,747 veterans in the US Obesity was not a statistically significant risk factor for death.
But the president is the president. And while his biology puts him in a riskier category, his social status works in his favor. Wealthy, white, and graduated All of them make you less vulnerable on hospitalization for COVID-19. Why? Basically because of the way our economy works. Be a person of coloror part of a lower socioeconomic class or no college degree – all these things are assigned both with a lack of access to health care (both after a COVID-19 diagnosis and during their previous life) and a higher likelihood of working in the service industry or a similar area where the risk of exposure is high. And while not much research has been done on the different outcomes between the type of health care the average rich white man might get and the kind of health care currently available to Trump, his political status is unlikely to hurt.
“If someone with their traits has a better chance of survival than any other 74-year-old, this is likely the President of the United States,” said Andrew Azman, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University.
At the moment the president Reportedly has only mild symptoms and we can assume that he will receive constant medical care. These are things that could indicate milder disease progression, Azman said. And while comparing it to his demographic cohort is far from predicting exactly how Trump will fare, this is our best indicator of the likelihood he will face more serious outcomes.
“Our best guess is the population average for people who look like him,” Azman said. “But we know he’s not the average person.”