Less than 8 percent of people hospitalized in Japan due to the novel coronavirus have died, a rate much lower than in other countries, a study showed Thursday.

Of about 2,600 people hospitalized at around 230 facilities between March and June, 7.5 percent have died, compared with 28 percent in China, 26 percent in Britain, and 21 to 24 percent in the U.S. state of New York, according to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine.

Criteria for hospitalization vary from country to country, the center acknowledged, while attributing the result to fewer people being obese or having diabetes in Japan.

It said the survey added to evidence that those who tend to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms are older, male, with a history of smoking, and with chronic disease.

Those aged 60 or older are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms and needing medical oxygen supply or mechanical ventilation, it said. Of patients with mild symptoms and who did not need medical oxygen supply, 77 percent recovered enough to leave hospitals.

Most patients showed the typical symptoms of coughing, fever and lethargy, while many patients with mild symptoms had headaches, as well as taste and smell loss, according to the study.

"We will next examine the efficacy of drugs as well as the relationship between symptoms and patients' lifestyle," said Norio Omagari, director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center.