Older people remain most at risk of dying as the new coronavirus continues its rampage around the globe, but they’re far from the only ones vulnerable. One of many mysteries: Men seem to be faring worse than women.

And as cases skyrocket in the U.S. and Europe, it’s becoming more clear that how healthy you were before the pandemic began plays a key role in how you fare regardless of how old you are.

The majority of people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms. But “majority” doesn’t mean “all,” and that raises an important question: Who should worry most that they’ll be among the seriously ill? While it will be months before scientists have enough data to say for sure who is most at risk and why, preliminary numbers from early cases around the world are starting to offer hints.

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NOT JUST THE OLD WHO GET SICK

Senior citizens undoubtedly are the hardest hit by COVID-19. In China, 80 per cent of deaths were among people in their 60s or older, and that general trend is playing out elsewhere.

The graying of the population means some countries face particular risk. Italy has the world’s second oldest population after Japan. While death rates fluctuate wildly early in an outbreak, Italy has reported more than 80 per cent of deaths so far were among those 70 or older.

2:01Coronavirus outbreak: Young people will be impacted by virus says Gov.

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