Hyderabad: On April 29, The Hindustan Times published an article headlined “Men are more than twice as likely to die from Covid-19”.
“The journal Frontiers in Public Health, suggest that additional care may be required for older men or those with underlying conditions. So far, researchers have confirmed that older COVID-19 patients and those with certain underlying conditions, such as heart disease and respiratory conditions, are at greater risk of severe disease and death” the Hindustan Times said.
The Hindustan Times’ headline claiming that Men are more than twice as likely to die from Covid-19 is MISLEADING —and overgeneralization of the figures.
Some have suggested that behavioral differences among men and women may be a factor—for example, men are more likely to smoke, 2015 analysis from the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed, potentially causing a higher number of underlying lung conditions. It may be due to specific underlying conditions that tended to have more severe disease and were more likely to die.
“Women do tend to have stronger immune systems than men, and they are far more likely to develop autoimmune diseases, disorders in which the immune system becomes excessively active and starts to attack the body’s own, healthy cells. But a strong immune reaction is not necessarily beneficial for fighting off the novel coronavirus. Some patients may be dying from cytokine storms, which occur when the body mounts an overzealous response to disease and wreaks havoc on its own cells. So far, no studies have proven a link among the X chromosome, immune response, and Covid-19 mortality rates,” Stefanik said in a wired article.
In the same Hindustan Times article they also posted that: “While the current findings have a small sample size, and larger studies are needed to confirm the results, this is the first preliminary indication that male gender is a significant risk factor for COVID-19 severity and death, the researchers noted”.
The dataset which was used to prove this claim is only 1056 COVID patients; the post’s precise headline is inaccurate without context because they don’t specify that they’re only referring to a few hospitals in the city of Beijing, China figures in their claim.
Also, the sample size was too small to make such a big claim when the total world population is 7.8 billion. Hindustan Times used the journal of frontiers in Public Health to back their claim. After thoroughly analyzing the journal frontiers in Public Health, In their conclusion, they said: “While men and women have the same prevalence, men with COVID-19 are more at risk for worse outcomes and death, independent of age”.
It seems this report doesn’t even exist. The post didn’t provide any further context or sources, nor did they offer any further evidence to substantiate the data. The article was merely a bold claim with no further explanation.
Hence, the claim is MISLEADING.