Why the 50+ Age Group Has Been the Hardest hit by COVID-19 and What We Can do About it - Eneida Roldan

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Most of us are keenly aware that the highest prevalence of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality has been in the 50 and older age group. In fact, between early January 2020 and October 13, 2021, over 75% of the 726,000 COVID-19 related deaths reported in the United States were among the 65 and older age group.

Moreover, in trying to protect our elders from infection and disease, they have been subjected to increased isolation. One of the major concerns amongst medical professionals treating this demographic has been the effect on their mental health.

Recently, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce asked me to moderate a series of “Navigating COVID-19” webinars. For the third and final discussion in what I termed our “womb to tomb” overview, we focused on the impact the pandemic has had on our aging population. I was joined by two experts who have been on the frontline of treating older patients: Shaun Corbett, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Miami Jewish Health, and Haleem Mohammed, MD, MBA, Regional Medical Director, Leon Medical Centers.

During our conversation, two salient points emerged:

  1. The vaccines are working. Even with breakthrough infections, we have seen the risk of morbidity, hospitalization, and death reduced.
  2. While isolation has led to a higher prevalence of depression, the elderly have proven to be resilient and are coping better than anticipated.

Below is the full video with more on what we learned during these past two years, along with tips on how to reduce comorbid physical factors and improve mental health.

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