The highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in the U.K. is associated with a 64% higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than earlier strains, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers at the University of Exeter and the University of Bristol analyzed data from more than 100,000 patients in the U.K. between Oct. 1 and Jan. 28. They compared death rates among people infected with B.1.1.7, the variant first found in the U.K., and those infected with other previously circulating strains.

The researchers, who published their findings Wednesday, said people infected with B.1.1.7 were between 32% and 104% more likely to die. That translates to a central estimate of 64%, they said, adding the "absolute risk of death in this largely unvaccinated population remains low."

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