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Men worse off amid the COVID-19 pandemic

17 Dec 2020

Recent research has found that while the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has no sex bias in terms of transmission, men are considerably more vulnerable to severe infection and worse outcomes.

Conducting a meta-analysis of 3,111,714 reported cases, the researchers found that the sex split was even: men comprised 50 percent (estimate, 0.50, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.48–0.51; p=0.56) of the total number of patients who had been infected with COVID-19. This suggested that men and women were comparably at risk of being infected.

However, outcomes differed significantly. The risk of needing to be admitted into intensive therapy units was almost three times as high in men than in women (odds ratio [OR], 2.84, 95 percent CI, 2.06–3.92; p=1.86×10–10).

Similarly, the likelihood of death was nearly 50-percent greater in men (OR, 1.39, 95 percent CI, 1.31–1.47; p=5.00×10–30).

Subsequent funnel plots and sensitivity analyses found that the evidence was reliable, and that findings were unlikely to be affected by reporting bias. To the contrary, the risk estimate for mortality in men may even be an underestimate, the researchers pointed out.

“Although further studies are needed, these data have implications for the clinical management of COVID-19 and highlight the importance of considering sex as a variable in fundamental and clinical research,” they said.

In the present analysis, a total of 90 reports were retrieved to obtain the study population. Most of the sources were obtained from government websites, official blogs of established medical organizations, and published research articles. Only reports that disaggregated the total number of infections by sex and looked at disease severity in terms of death and intensive care admission were eligible.

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Most Read Articles
01 Dec 2020
Tetanus toxoid 5 Lf, diphtheria toxoid 2 Lf, pertussis toxoid 2.5 mcg, filamentous haemagglutinin 5 mcg, fimbriae types 2 and 3 5 mcg, pertactin 3 mcg
Dr. Hsu Li Yang, Dr. Tan Thuan Tong, Dr. Andrea Kwa, 08 Jan 2021
Antimicrobial resistance has become increasingly dire as the rapid emergence of drug resistance, especially gram-negative pathogens, has outpaced the development of new antibiotics. At a recent virtual symposium, Dr Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean (Global Health) and Programme Leader (Infectious Diseases), NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, presented epidemiological data on multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Asia, while Dr Tan Thuan Tong, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), focused on the role of ceftazidime-avibactam in MDR GNB infections. Dr Andrea Kwa, Assistant Director of Research, Department of Pharmacy, SGH, joined the panel in an interactive fireside chat, to discuss challenges, practical considerations, and solutions in MDR gram-negative infections. This Pfizer-sponsored symposium was chaired by Dr Ng Shin Yi, Head and Senior Consultant of Surgical Intensive Care, SGH.
Tristan Manalac, Yesterday
While antibody titres against SARS-CoV-2 wane with time, the immune system is capable of producing memory B-cells that can last for at least 6 months after infection, suggesting that the body will be able to protect itself in the case of re-exposure, according to a new study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 5 days ago
Spending too much time sitting cannot be good for the body, and rising to one's feet breaks up such a behaviour and yields small, but meaningful, reductions in certain cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, according to the results of a meta-analysis.