Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Study: Elderly more at risk from H7N9 virus

By Cai Wenjun   (Shanghai Daily)

08:32, June 07, 2013

MOST of those infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus have been older people with pre-existing medical problems, putting them at greater risk of getting critically ill or dying, according to China's first comprehensive study of the new virus.

The analysis was led by scientists from Fudan University and was published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"With the elderly population rising, the study indicates that controlling chronic diseases is also important for controlling infectious diseases," said Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center's Lu Hongzhou, a leading researcher in the study.

The average age of the patients was 61 years, while 42 percent were 65 or older. Male patients were 68 percent of the total.

Studies found 61 percent of the patients had one or more coexisting medical conditions. Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the most common.

Scientists studied 111 patients in Shanghai and in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces as of May 10. That's 85 percent of all 131 cases reported in China's mainland.

At that point, 30 patients had died, 51 had recovered and 30 remained hospitalized.

Infections slowed considerably last month. By early June, Shanghai had reported 33 human infections. Fifteen had been cured and discharged from hospitals, 15 had died and the remaining three were still being treated, Xinhua new agency reported.

Experts said the risk of death from H7N9 increased among patients who were 65 or older; among those who had an existing medical condition, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock or an acute kidney injury; and among those who started antiviral therapy more than five days after the onset of symptoms.

Patients hospitalized with H5N1 or H1N1 flu in the past were mostly young people.

Doctors said a possible explanation for the predominance of elderly patients in this outbreak of H7N9 is that retired persons shop more often in wet markets and are therefore more likely to be exposed to live poultry. Besides the increased risk of coexisting illnesses, they are more susceptible to severe forms of disease than younger people, even after the same exposure.

Zhong Nanshan, a leading expert on respiratory diseases in China, said such research is essential for infectious disease prevention and control.

We Recommend:

State-owned barbershop dying out

China’s weekly story (2013.5.18- 5.24)

Wine club: a new way of life in the city

Left-behind children, victims of school violence

White angels in Chongqing South West Hospital

Baby abandoned in toilet pipe rescued

Children in rural areas: Fewer toys, more joy

Chinese-style hurdlers in street

Left-behind children before Children's Day

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Gao Yinan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. North Sea Fleet in replenishment training

  2. Internal photos of China's aircraft carrier "Liaoning"

  3. Chinese miners in Ghana

  4. Versatile Chengdu in SW China

  5. Former journalist draws pollution map of China

  6. Where's the bottom line of shows?

  7. Yuan Shanshan in white dress

  8. Sharapova reaches semifinals

  9. China's cloud computing chain ready

  10. Top Wine China 2013 Expo kicks off in Beijing

Most Popular


  1. Law desiderated to protect interns' right
  2. China owes a huge debt to the environment
  3. China's middle class emerges, to spend more
  4. Xi-Obama meeting of milestone significance
  5. Violation of women's rights root of sexual assaults
  6. China not to tolerate rogue act on S. China Sea
  7. Imaginaion: essential for cultural confidence
  8. How ZTE is winning the US market
  9. Global IT and techno-jingoism
  10. Copycats stifle Chinese innovation

What’s happening in China

1 killed in SW China helicopter crash

  1. China tops world in losing top-notch personnel
  2. Beijing hikes taxi base fare by 30 pct
  3. Shanghai ranks No.2 in research contributions
  4. 'Special marriage group' byproduct of social times
  5. Reservoir to be built in Huangpu's upper reaches