COVID-19 in Latin America – Fine Panel HCP survey suggests more critical cases have a dominant focus in people with previous pathologies
This relevant insight comes from the “Regional Medical Survey on COVID-19” carried out by Fine in 13 Latin American countries with 2,253 medical professionals.
The project provides general data on all kinds of HCPs but specifically analyzes the segment of 235 professionals who are currently treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19. When describing some 421 patients in critical condition in Latin America, the survey identifies that (unlike what is commonly reported in Europe) the majority of patients in critical condition, are actually under 65.
In the study, the 65+ segment constitutes only a quarter of the critical conditions group, while half are patients between 40 and 65 years of age.
And while as expected those under 18 years seem to be relatively more immune to the worsening of the condition (they only represent 3% of the patients in critical condition), younger patients between 18 and 39 years of age still represent an 18% of the patients currently hospitalized or who may require hospitalization according to the doctor clinical judgement.
This is good news since mortality is indeed concentrated in the elderly as per public records. Their lower weight in hospitalization can be explained by a combination of the Latin America’s younger demography and also the relative success of the isolation policy of the older adults which many Latin American countries have implemented at an early stage of the the disease spread.
However, another risk group seems not to have been protected so well. People suffering with other pathologies (diabetes, respiratory problems, cariological and immunosuppressed patients), are by all means a relatively minority group in society. However they represent an astonishing 61% of the patients with COVID-19 in more critical condition as reported by physicians in this survey. A follow up survey got even a higher figure, with up to 80% of Brazilian hospitalized patients with such comorbilities with diabetes leading the list.
The vulnerability of these kind of patients is not something new, but the fact they show such a weight of over twice the group of 65+, may justify reviewing current policies in many LatAm countries which focuses almost exclusively on caring the elderly.
If this insight is confirmed by further evidence, it could lead to actions to significantly reduce the impact of the disease. Isolating these patients with previous ailments as is done with the 65+ group, would not only reduce the demand for hospitalization resources, but it would also dramatically reduce the death toll of the pandemic.
The study also analyzes the assessment by physicians of the policies implemented by national states, detailing the measures that gain greater support, the involvement of the population against the pandemic, the evaluation of hospital infrastructure detailing potential risk of collapse of different resources by country, and finally the physician perspective of the future.
The project was funded and carried our by Fine Research´s Latin American HCP regional panel with the support of Save The Children (Mexico), Ipsos Healthcare (Brazil), Confirmit (Oslo), The Esomar Foundation (Amsterdam) and Datum (Peru).
Country summary reports (in Spanish)
Country Summary in Portuguese
We remind that in the context of the emergency, Fine Panel offers its community of health professionals and its research services free of charge for any project related to COVID-19 that can support the efforts of the regional and/or national health authorities of the countries we have local resources including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
As part of this program we are currently involved in an international survey to support the Clinical Immunology Service of the Birmingham University initiative to improve COVID-19 antibody diagnosis. See Birmingham experts join forces to improve COVID-19 antibody diagnosis
For any related need, write to info@fine-research.
PRESS REGARDING THE PROGRAM
RESEARCH CHOICES (Amsterdam) https://researchchoices.org/covid19/findings/report/48/latin-american-physician-survey-on-covid-19
Telam (Argentina) Agencia de Noticias del estado https://www.telam.com.ar/notas/202004/449280-medicos-aprueban-las-medidas-del-gobierno-nacional-contra-el-coronavirus.html
Codigo Salud (Argentina) https://codigosaludonline.com/2020/05/02/covid-19-que-dicen-los-medicos-encuesta-regional/
El Economista (Argentina) https://www.eleconomista.com.ar/2020-04-informe-pide-menos-fundamentalismo-y-mas-metodos-cientificos/
Dimmension (Argentina) https://www.dimmension.net/novedad.php?id=369
Ipsos (Colombia) https://www.ipsos.com/es-co/encuesta-regional-medica-sobre-covid-19
La estrella (Panama) https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200413/medicos-estiman-pandemia-durara-dos