While old people are widely believed to be at a greater risk due to Covid-19 pandemic, new study shows younger patients too are vulnerable to the adverse clinical outcomes.
For the study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the research team analysed records from 419 hospitals to study the clinical trajectories of 3,222 hospitalised Covid-19 patients aged 18-34.
Researchers found that over one-fifth of the patients (21 per cent) required intensive care, 10 per cent required mechanical ventilation and 2.7 per cent died.
"There was a significant rate of adverse outcomes," said study author Jonathan Cunningham from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US.
"Even though a 2.7 per cent death rate is lower than for older patients, it's high for young people who typically do well even when hospitalized for other conditions," Cunningham added.
Individuals with cardiovascular risk factors were also over-represented among the young people hospitalized -- 36.8 per cent and 24.5 per cent of patients had obesity and morbid obesity, respectively; 18.2 per cent of patients had diabetes and 16.1 per cent had hypertension.
The researchers found that patients who presented these comorbidities were also more likely to experience adverse outcomes.
Patients with morbid obesity, for example, comprised 41 per cent of the hospitalized young adults who died or required mechanical ventilation.
For individuals with more than one of these conditions, risks for adverse outcomes were comparable to the risks faced by middle-aged adults, aged 35-64, who had none of these conditions, as observed in a study of 8,862 members of this population.
The researchers stressed that the dataset, which relies on hospital administrative claims, only lends insight into the adverse outcomes of hospitalized young people.
"We think the vast majority of people in this age range have self-limited disease and don't require hospitalization. But if you do, the risks are really substantial," the study authors noted.