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The figures that prove Covid-19 is not 'just like the flu'

Covid-19 critical care statistics.

April 2020: Critical Care data proves that Covid-19 is not 'just like flu'.

Covid-19 appears far more dangerous than flu. Both women and men are twice as likely to die if admitted to critcal care for Covid-19 than for flu. Men, who make up 3/4 of critical care deaths from Covid-19, are at particular risk. It is also far more dangerous for those overweight or from minority ethnic groups.

The statistics below, published by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) comparing Covid-19 with typical admissions to critical care with seasonal flu, show:

  • Men make up 73% of admissions to critical care with Covid-19 (and 75% of deaths) compared to 54% of admissions for seasonal flu.
  • Black and minority ethnic patients are three times more likely to be in critical care for Covid-19 than for seasonal flu (34% to 12%).
  • Three quarters (74%) of admissions to critical care are in people who are overweight or obese (having a body mass index of 25 or more). It is lower (60%) in seasonal flu.
  • Both men and women are twice as likely to die when in critical care for Covid-19 than for seasonal flu. Over half (54%) of men in critical care for Covid-19 die compared to a quarter (25%) of men admitted with seasonal flu.

INCARC audit critical care. These tables are based on data in their Case Mix Programme (a national clinical audit covering all NHS adult, general intensive care and combined intensive care/high dependency units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus some additional specialist and non-NHS critical care units). It does not include adult critical care units in Scotland or paediatric or neonatal intensive care units. 

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

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