A new population-based study commissioned by Swedish researchers revealed that close proximity of working household members and neighbours could pose a high risk on elders.
The study, published in the medical journal Lancet, stated that housing and neighbourhood dynamics are proportional to Covid-19 mortality in older adults.
The study was titled “Residential context and Covid-19 mortality among adults aged 70 years and older in Stockholm: a population-based, observational study using individual-level data.”
The researchers used data from the cause-of-death register held by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. They intended to find recorded Covid-19 mortality and mortality from other causes among individuals (aged ≥70 years) in Stockholm, Sweden, between March 12 and May 8, 2020.
The study noted: “Researchers have underlined the importance of living arrangements and household composition, such as care homes, crowded housing, and mixed-age households, as well as social contacts outside the household for understanding the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).”
“Living arrangements shape the contact that older adults have with individuals from within or outside the household. In addition, their risk of infection can be shaped by their broader neighbourhood environment,” it added.
The researchers observed that living in care homes aggravate the risk of contracting the virus and mortality. This is also due to poor underlying health among care home residents.
“These factors should be considered when developing strategies to protect this group,” said researchers in the paper.