Gender differences in disease severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Male, Female, Coronavirus, Cross-Sectional Studies, Prevalence, Pakistan, COVID-19, Severity of Illness Index, SARS-CoV-2
Introduction: Several global studies have identified gender differences in COVID-19 infectivity, clinical features, and outcome, most of which support a poorer male experience. However, studies from Pakistan regarding gender-based analyses are lacking.
Objective: To determine gender as a risk factor for COVID-19 infectivity, severity, and outcomes in adult patients of a tertiary care hospital of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Materials & Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted at Rehman Medical Institute, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Data were obtained from May to August 2020, and covered all adult COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the hospital during that time span. All patient information, including demographics, test results, disease severity, and available outcomes were recorded in a specifically designed Performa. Data were analyzed by SPSS 26 for descriptive statistics.
Results: A total of 84 patients were included in the study. The dominant gender was male with 81% (n= 68) of subjects being males and 19% (n=16) female. 23.8% (n=20) of our study population had mild disease, 29.8% (n=25) had moderate, 22.6% (n=19) had severe and 23.8% (n=20) had critical disease. 60.7% (n=51) were alive, 31.0% (n=26) died and 8.3% (n=7) had unknown outcomes. Comparing disease severity and outcome with gender found that 20.6% (n=14) males had severe and 26.5% (n=18) had critical disease. In females, 31.3% (n=14) had severe disease, and 12.5% (n=2) had critical disease. Mortality for males was 30.9% (n=21) and for females it was 31.3% (n=15). Although males were the dominant gender, a statistically significant link between age, gender, disease severity and adverse outcomes could not be found and similar severity and mortality was noted amongst both sexes.
Conclusion: Though a male dominant prevalence of COVID-19 occurred in adult COVID-19 patients of a tertiary care hospital of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, disease severity and adverse outcomes in COVID-19 were independent of gender.