Research Insights: Why Do Young and Middle-Aged Adults Represent a Larger Share of Covid-19 Deaths in Developing Countries?

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Dec 2020
Young and middle-aged adults represent a larger share of Covid-19 deaths in developing countries -including Latin America- than in high-income countries. This is not due to those countries younger populations. Much of the gap is explained by lower recovery rates among non-elderly adults, which are linked to a high prevalence of preexisting conditions associated with severe Covid-19 complications, and in some cases by limited access to life-saving intensive care. Higher infection rates also appear to play a role, as factors correlated to faster virus spread -including housing overcrowding and labor informality- are likewise correlated to non-elderly Covid-19 mortality.