July 23, 2020

Effectiveness of government actions, country preparedness, socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality, health outcomes

Editor's Note: 

Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in number of critical cases or overall COVID-19 mortality; however, they were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates, this study of 50 countries finds.

Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with higher obesity, higher median population age, and longer time to border closures from the first reported case.

Increased mortality was significantly associated with higher obesity prevalence and per capita gross domestic product.

Variables that were negatively associated with increased COVID-19 mortality were reduced income dispersion within the nation, a higher smoking prevalence, and the number of nurses (ie, more nurses within a healthcare system was associated with reduced mortality)

The finding of lower smoking rates among the critically ill COVID-19 patients may be due in part to their increased age distribution because countries with a lower median age have higher smoking rates, the researchers say.

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