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COVID-19 mortality in women and men in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-sectional study

Dalal, J and Triulzi, I and James, A and Nguimbis, B and Dri, GG and Venkatasubramanian, A and Noubi Tchoupopnou Royd, L and Botero Mesa, S and Somerville, C and Turchetti, G and Stoll, B and Abbate, JL and Mboussou, F and Impouma, B and Keiser, O and Coelho, FC (2021) COVID-19 mortality in women and men in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-sectional study. In: BMJ Global Health, 6 (11).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007225


Introduction Since sex-based biological and gender factors influence COVID-19 mortality, we wanted to investigate the difference in mortality rates between women and men in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Method We included 69 580 cases of COVID-19, stratified by sex (men: n=43 071; women: n=26 509) and age (0-39 years: n=41 682; 40-59 years: n=20 757; 60+ years: n=7141), from 20 member nations of the WHO African region until 1 September 2020. We computed the SSA-specific and country-specific case fatality rates (CFRs) and sex-specific CFR differences across various age groups, using a Bayesian approach. Results A total of 1656 deaths (2.4 of total cases reported) were reported, with men accounting for 70.5 of total deaths. In SSA, women had a lower CFR than men (mean CFRdiff = -0.9; 95 credible intervals (CIs) -1.1 to -0.6). The mean CFR estimates increased with age, with the sex-specific CFR differences being significant among those aged 40 years or more (40-59 age group: mean CFRdiff = -0.7; 95 CI -1.1 to -0.2; 60+ years age group: mean CFRdiff = -3.9; 95 CI -5.3 to -2.4). At the country level, 7 of the 20 SSA countries reported significantly lower CFRs among women than men overall. Moreover, corresponding to the age-specific datasets, significantly lower CFRs in women than men were observed in the 60+ years age group in seven countries and 40-59 years age group in one country. Conclusions Sex and age are important predictors of COVID-19 mortality globally. Countries should prioritise the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data so as to design public health interventions and ensure that policies promote a gender-sensitive public health response. © 2021 Georg Thieme Verlag. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: BMJ Global Health
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 06:17
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 06:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70831

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