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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. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.

Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.

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