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COVID-19 news from Annals of Internal Medicine

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American College of Physicians

Below please find a summary and link(s) of new coronavirus-related content published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The summary below is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. A collection of coronavirus-related content is free to the public at

COVID-19 death risk varies significantly by age, race, ethnicity and sex

Infection fatality rate 2.5 times greater than flu for patients over 60

Regardless of age, IFR 3 times higher in non-whites

COVID-19 infection fatality ratios (IFR) vary significantly and in order of magnitude by age, race, ethnicity and sex. Risk for death is significantly higher among patients who are older or those who are non-White. A brief research report is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Current mortality rates for COVID-19 are calculated from confirmed cases, which overestimates IFR. To calculate the true IFR among the community-dwelling population, researchers from Indiana University Richard M Fairbanks School of Public Health and the School of Medicine combined prevalence estimates from a statewide random sample with Indiana vital statistics data of confirmed COVID-19 deaths for all state residents aged 12 and older. They excluded deceased individuals, incarcerated persons, and nursing home residents from the random sample. Participants were tested April 25 to April 29 2020 for active viral infection and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which would indicate prior infection, and demographic information was collected.

The researchers found that the overall noninstitutionalized IFR was 0.26 percent. Persons younger than 40 years had an IFR of 0.01 percent, and those aged 60 or older had an IFR of 1.71 percent. Indiana's IFR for noninstitutionalized persons older than 60 years was found to be just below 2 percent. In comparison, the ratio is approximately 2.5 times greater than the estimated IFR for seasonal influenza, 0.8 percent, among those aged 65 years and older. With regard to race, Whites had an IFR of 0.18 percent, and non-Whites had an IFR of 0.59 percent. The researchers note that the IFR for non-Whites is more than 3 times that for Whites, despite COVID-19 decedents in that group being 5.6 years younger on average. Read the full text:

Media contacts: A PDF for this article is not yet available. Please click the link to read full text. To reach the lead author, Justin Blackburn, PhD, please contact Amanda Briggs at


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