What Is Your Chance of Dying From Covid-19 in Indiana?

Data on the recent true infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 have been difficult to come by. Investigators writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine today have, however, provided us with a solid estimate of the Covid-19 IFR in the state of Indiana for those over the age of 11 years and not living in a nursing home.

They combined prevalence estimates from a statewide random sample of participants who were tested from 25 April to 29 April 2020 for active viral infection and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with data from the Indiana Dept. of Health on confirmed Covid-19 deaths.

Although nursing home residents were not tested, they represented 54.9% of Indiana’s deaths.

The overall IFR was surprisingly low at 0.26%.

Indianans less than 40 years of age had an extremely small IFR of 0.01% whereas those aged 60 or older had an IFR of 1.71%. The authors point out that the IFR for Covid-19 in the elderly is significantly worse than seasonal flu:

In comparison, the ratio is approximately 2.5 times greater than the estimated IFR for seasonal influenza, 0.8% (1 in 125), among those aged 65 years and older . Of note, the IFR for non-Whites is more than 3 times that for Whites, despite COVID-19 decedents in that group being 5.6 years younger on average.

Whites had an IFR of 0.18%; non-Whites had an IFR of 0.59%.

As I am living in a midwest state not dissimilar from Indiana and I’m over the age of 60 years based on these data I could anticipate a 1.7% chance of dying if I contract Covid-19. However, when I have seen Covid-19 fatality rates broken down by decade of age there appears to be a sharp inflection point above the age of 70. It would be nice to see the Indiana data broken down similarly to help identify what age truly represents a high risk cohort.

Skeptically Yours,



12 thoughts on “What Is Your Chance of Dying From Covid-19 in Indiana?”

  1. “ As I am living in a midwest state not dissimilar from Indiana and I’m over the age of 60 years based on these data I could anticipate a 1.7% chance of dying if I contract Covid-19.”

    I would like to see the breakdown of over 60 by race before anticipating anything. And have factored in sex. And incidence of comorbidity.

    Seems to me that if you are white, male, & lack comorbidity, the 1.7 is overstated.

    • Doctors used it early on because they didn’t have effective treatments, the death rate was high and they didn’t feel they had time to wait for studies showing efficacy and safety .
      This was widespread in the spring but by late spring it was clear that HCQ was neither safe nor effective.
      However, a few doctors felt strongly based on their anecdotal experience that HCQ (typically combined with zinc and azithromycin) was helpful have continued to use it despite evidence supporting it.

  2. And that’s why the United States has the highest infection rate and death toll in the world – hubris or ‘Four Days in April’.

  3. Both my parents in their 90’s survived Covid in late March. They both caught it at the long term facility in California. They both beat the odds. A truly amazing case. My dad 93 has Alzheimer’s and underlying conditions and stayed positive for a long time but without complications.

  4. As a Palm Beach County Florida senior, the extremely scary statistic that has remained unanalyzed (and undiscussed) is from March until today Sept 2, 2020 the fatality rate, if you are hospitalized, has been around 35%. All the talk about learning effective therapies like proning to keep folks off vents, antibody infusion, and remdesivir, has been while the hospitalize fatality rate peaked at 42% and is still 34% today (1134 deaths out of 3338 hospitalized).

    The total infection fatality rate for PBC Florida (nursing home and not) stands at 2.7% with 2.8% of the county residents having tested positive.

    Indiana sounds like a much better place to be hospitalized than here.

  5. 1). We are Hoosiers, not Indianans. Thank you so much. Also, Gov Holcomb is determined to keep Hoosiers masked up, probably until there is a vaccine, as it seems any little bit of postive cases throws him in a tizzy and makes him want to stomp out Covid with lockdowns, etc. He’s nuts. That said, I would really like to see data broken down for ages above 60. I would bet the age group that starts really making a death count (not even including care or assisted living type facilities, which you do mention has about 55% of the total deaths), and I would like to see the break down of people dying who have two or more co-morbitities. One issue with Indiana, at least in this state is some of the health officials are now saying the CDC thing of 6% dying of covid only is totally misleading, as the co-morbities are mostly not killers. So. We have a lot of Karens in this state and a bunch of neo-fascists and people who are getting drunk on their power. It is madness. I swear, Gov Holcomb is acting like we are at risk of having like a quarter of a million Hoosiers (just here in Indiana) die if he doesn’t keep everyone masked up and locked down). BTW, we will stay with mandatory masks until at least Sept 25. Based on his past performance, I fully expect he will just before that date extend it another 30 days.

  6. Those IFR figures look better than we might have thought. But increasingly, death seems be to just one of the serious health effects of this virus. Deaths are easier to classify and count.

  7. You know, this is rather sad, because even my pharmacist and some ID colleagues are saying that remdesivir has had only a “modest” effect on the disease, and maybe should not be prescribed. I feel it is sad because in my 35+ years of doing ID, my experience with antivirals (hellish vidarabin, ribavirin, acyclovir, cidofovir etc – but not anti-HIV drugs) has ALWAYS been that if you do not use them in the early “proliferative” stages of the infection, but late during the wild immune-response/inflammatory stage, these drugs have modest efffects. Of course! If I do get SARS-CoV2 (65 y.o. quad ao-cor bypass in 2018), i WANT remdesivir EARLY ON! :-) Don’t you?

  8. Oh well… that is a moving target. Who knows whta’s what today? I’d prescribe you remdesivir in the first three days of apparent symptoms, the dexamethasone for five days, and tou’d probably be okay… Hope you would do the same for me Anthony! :-)


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