Fat vs frail: is age a greater virus risk than weight? Here are ...

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Fat vs frail: is age a greater virus risk than weight? Here are the facts

As debate rages over whether over-70s should stay in, we ask if weight may be the more significant factor

Victoria Lambert

When 106-year-old Connie Titchen was clapped out of Birmingham City Hospital in mid-April, having survived her bout of coronavirus, she gave hope to silver seniors everywhere.

From the start of the crisis, increasing age has been associated with lower rates of beating the disease. But here was Connie, who had outlasted the Spanish flu and now seen off Covid-19, thanks, her family said, to her active and healthy lifestyle.

Yet, according to the UK health department, anyone over 70 (let alone 100) is at higher risk of being vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying in March that over-70s should brace for 12 weeks indoors. National Health Service guidance puts all over-70s, regardless of medical condition, into the “clinically vulnerable” category. There have even been suggestions that older Britons will be among the last to escape lockdown...

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