Healthcare experts have tried to predict why COVID-19 affects some people more severely than others, sometimes causing death. A new study conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London has found consistent negative health factors among people who have succumbed to the virus by examining the tissue of deceased victims.

According to Ladders, the researchers found key complications that preceded death such as fever before diagnosis, and persistent cough and shortness of breath. The pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also appeared frequently in the researchers’ analysis.

The post-mortem examinations found strong links between COVID-19 mortality and scarring of the lungs, kidney injury, and blood clots in at least one major organ, according to Ladders.

Experts have linked social and demographic factors such as sex, race, access to health care and ethnicity to increased risk of dying from COVID-19. According to The Washington Post, scientists at the National Institutes of Health said that patients with severe illness from COVID-19 shared the same 22 proteins.

The Economic Times reported that scientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe disease while those with Type O were less likely. These reports confirm a previous Chinese study of links between severe COVID-19 and blood type.

In the new study by British researchers, the authors also noted that circulation complications occurred in COVID-19 mortalities and said that their findings could help prevent future deaths by administering blood thinning medication to patients at risk. They also reiterated that both obesity and smoking were strong comorbidity factors for COVID-19 deaths.

“Now, more than ever, it’s essential that campaigns highlight the benefits of losing excess weight and stopping smoking,” said the study authors, according to Ladders.

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