While men have been more prone to novel coronavirus infections, women may be more at risk of death from COVID-19 in India. A new study suggests a higher relative-risk of COVID-19 mortality among women in the country. Read on to know the results of the study given below :
What does the data say?
As of 20 May 2020, in India, 3.3 percent of women who contracted COVID-19 have died, as compared to 2.9 percent men. The difference in CFR (case fatality rate) is particularly noticeable in the middle-aged group, says the report. Between the ages of 40 to 49, the rate of fatality for female COVID-19 patients is 3.2 percent, while for male patients it is 2.1 percent.
For the age group of 5 to 19 years, the mortality rate is 0.6 percent for girls who contracted the infection, while no deaths were reported among boys.
The study also found that men shared a higher burden (66 percent) of COVID-19 infections than women (34 percent).
Who has conducted the research?
The analysis has been conducted by researchers associated with the Institute of Health Management Research in Jaipur, Institute of Economic Growth in Delhi and Harvard University in the US. The analysis focuses on gender differentials in COVID-19 mortality in India, as of May 2020, recording total number confirmed cases at 112,027 with 3,433 deaths, thus the case fatality ratio being 3.1 percent.
The study, published in the Journal of Global Health Science, presented an age and sex-specific view of mortality from the disease using the measure of CFR (case fatality rate), which is the ratio of confirmed deaths to total confirmed cases.
Factors that make women in India more vulnerable :
“The social determinants like access to healthcare and general health and nutrition status which are generally worse for women in India than their male counterparts could explain these differences that defy the global trend,” health economist William Joe from the IEG who is the lead author of the paper told The New Indian Express.
3.3 percent of women who contracted COVID-19 have died, as compared to 2.9 percent men.
William Joe underlined that the findings could have two significant policy implications. “At no point, should governments think that women are at an advantage in dealing with the infections and also the health and nutrition support programmes should be continued with enhanced focus even during the pandemic situation,” he said.
The analysis reveals that while the overall risk of COVID-19 is higher among men but it is important to note that females are at an overall higher relative risk of mortality. This finding calls for equal, if not greater, attention towards females for COVID-19 care.