Adjusting COVID-19 reports for countries' age disparities: a comparative framework for reporting performances

Eryarsoy, Enes and Delen, Dursun and Davazdahemami, Behrooz (2020) Adjusting COVID-19 reports for countries' age disparities: a comparative framework for reporting performances. (Preprint)

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Objectives: The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted distinct health care systems differently. While the rate of disease for COVID-19 is highly age-variant, there is no unified and age/gender-inclusive reporting taking place. This renders the comparison of individual countries based on their corresponding metrics, such as CFR difficult. In this paper, we examine cross-country differences, in terms of the age distribution of symptomatic cases, hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and fatalities. In addition, we propose a new quality measure (called dissonance ratio) to facilitate comparison of countries’ performance in testing and reporting COVID-19 cases (i.e., their reporting quality). Methods: By combining population pyramids with estimated COVID-19 age dependent conditional probabilities, we bridge country-level incidence data gathered from different countries and attribute the variability in data to country demographics. Results: We show that age-adjustment can account for as much as a 22-fold difference in the expected number of fatalities across different countries. We provide case, hospitalization, ICU, and fatality breakdown estimates for a comprehensive list of countries. Also, a comparison is conducted between countries in terms of their performance in reporting COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Conclusions: Our research sheds light on the importance of and propose a methodology to use countries’ population pyramids for obtaining accurate estimates of the healthcare system requirements based on the experience of other, already affected, countries at the time of pandemics.
Item Type: Article
Divisions: Sabancı Business School
Depositing User: Enes Eryarsoy
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 13:32
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:19

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