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Online tool calculates your ‘COVID age’

TORONTO — It’s impossible to guarantee how an individual person may react after contracting COVID-19, but a popular online tool is offering a better idea of the risk of complications.

The COVIDAge Calculator, launched earlier this year by U.S. health-care organization Sanford Health and medical technologies company Everist Health, allows users to plug in their health details, including their weight, age, waist size, smoking habits and any pre-existing conditions.

Based on that information, the tool determines how likely an individual is to be hospitalized, admitted to an ICU or die if they become infected.

Users are also given a “COVID age.” The lower the number, the less likely they are to suffer negative side effects or death.

While the calculator was designed with an American audience in mind, the creators say they hope the tool can give everyone a clearer sense of their current risk factors.

Health Canada currently lists about a dozen health conditions that could make a person at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • lung disease
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • dementia
  • stroke
  • any conditions that leave a person immunocompromised
  • underlying medical conditions such as cancer
  • anyone taking medications that lower the immune system, such as chemotherapy
  • obesity, considered a BMI of 40 or higher

Age is also a leading risk factor. The vast majority of coronavirus-related deaths in Canada so far involved people over the age of 80 (71 per cent), followed by those between 70 and 79 (18 per cent), 60 to 69 (7 per cent) and 50 to 59 (2 per cent). Since the pandemic began, 77 Canadians between the ages of zero to 49 have died of the virus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Wednesday that Canada is in a second wave of COVID-19 cases, and he urged Canadians to be diligent in flattening the curve once again.

Canada reported another 1,090 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, adding to a trend of rising caseloads across the country.

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