Photo: Halfpoint Images / Getty Images
Protecting the risk groups is a requirement often mentioned in the corona pandemic.
But who exactly belongs in these risk groups - and how many people are there?
A research group from the Robert Koch Institute has now put this into more precise figures: According to this, around 36.5 million people in Germany have an increased risk that Covid-19 will be severe for them.
According to the study published in the Journal of Health Monitoring, 21.6 million people even belong to the high-risk group - including the 18.1 million citizens in Germany who are 65 years of age and older.
The data come from a telephone cross-sectional survey for which around 23,000 people were interviewed.
According to the publication,
People who are at least 65 years old
as well as people with at least one pre-existing illness that at least doubles the risk of having to be treated in a clinic or dying for Covid 19 disease.
These pre-existing conditions are diabetes, chronic kidney problems and severe obesity with a body mass index of 40 or more.
the study, the following are included in the
People who are at least 65 years old
People in need of additional help
People with pre-existing conditions or risk factors that increase the risk of hospital treatment for Covid-19 or of dying from it.
These are high blood pressure, coronary heart disease / angina pectoris, heart attack or chronic complications, stroke or chronic complications, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic kidney problems and obesity with a body mass index from 30.
However, the study does not indicate how much the risk is increased in these groups compared to the rest of the population.
“You can't put a precise figure on that.
The assignment to the risk group is based on the increased risks of the individual factors, «writes study director Alexander Rommel in an email to SPIEGEL.
Such analyzes are not yet available for the entire group.
Why is the age 65 mentioned as the limit?
"Age is an important criterion, since the risk begins to increase sharply between 60 and 70, regardless of previous illnesses," says Rommel.
Ultimately, it is a linear increase.
»From this point of view, 65 is a setting because you have to decide on a threshold value for the purpose of delimitation.«
For the Corona vaccination recommendation, the Standing Vaccination Commission estimated, among other things, how much age and previous illnesses increase the risk of severe Covid-19 courses.
People aged 80 and over have the highest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying of Covid-19, followed by people with Down syndrome and people between the ages of 70 and 79. For all of them, the risks are many times higher than for none Previously ill under 60 years.
The previous illnesses and risk factors of the risk group mentioned in the current publication are very common in Germany.
The research team writes that the risk of a severe course of Covid 19 has been increasing steadily in younger years.
"The proportion of those affected is 20.5 percent between the ages of 20 and 24, 40.2 percent among 45-49 year olds and 60.9 percent among 60 to 64-year-olds."
The work does not name cancer and heart failure (heart failure) as a criterion for belonging to a risk group.
If one were to add these diseases, almost half a million more people would be affected.
According to the study, almost 18 percent of people in the risk group live in a family.
This means that around 5.7 million people at increased risk are potentially exposed to a higher risk of infection due to "more social contacts in multi-generational households," the work says.
The researchers point out that the risk of a severe course is “socially unevenly distributed”.
According to their data, a lower education goes hand in hand with a higher risk of a severe COVID-19 course.
There are also differences between the federal states: In Saarland and the eastern federal states, proportionally more people live with an increased Covid 19 risk.
Icon: The mirror