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Men have 30% higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than women: Study

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Men have a 30 per cent higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to women of the same age and health status, according to a new study which analysed the link between common patient characteristics and the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus infection.

In the research, the scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US assessed nearly 67,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in 613 hospitals across the country.

They said the patients who were obese, had hypertension or poorly managed diabetes had a higher risk of dying compared to those who did not have these conditions.

The study noted that COVID-19 patients aged 20 to 39 with these conditions had the biggest difference in their risk of dying compared to their healthier peers.

“Knowledge is power in many ways, so I think understanding which hospitalized COVID-19 patients are at highest risk of mortality can help guide difficult treatment decisions,” said study corresponding author Anthony D. Harris.

The researchers believe healthcare providers could consider these risks when determining which COVID-19 patients could benefit the most from antibody therapies that, if given in the first few days of the infection, can reduce hospitalisation risk.

According to the study, age remained the strongest predictor of mortality from COVID-19.

It noted that overall, nearly 19 per cent of hospitalised COVID-19 patients died from their infection with the lowest mortality among pediatric patients, which was less than two per cent.

Mortality rates increased with each decade of life with the highest mortality, 34 per cent, among those aged 80 and older.

“Older patients still have the highest risk of dying, but younger patients with obesity or hypertension have the highest risk of dying relative to other patients their age without these conditions,” said study lead author Katherine E. Goodman.