STUDY: Older Men Have Higher Risk For COVID-19 But Do Less To Prevent It

Someone needs to have a serious talk with grandpa about wearing a mask when he goes out!

There’s a new study that says older men often do the LEAST to protect themselves against COVID-19, yet their age/gender puts them among the most vulnerable to infection.

Georgia State University gerontology and psychology researcher Sarah Barber posted an online questionnaire to assess how older adults felt about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants fell into two age groups (18-35 and 65-81) and answered questions about how they guaged the virus’ severity, whether they thought people were overreacting to it, what steps and behavioral changes they intended to take regarding it, etc.  **It’s worth noting that the survey was conducted from March 23 to 31, shortly after U.S. lock downs began and while the national infection and fatality rates were far lower than they are now.**

What did she find out? Even though most of respondents reported moderate levels of worry and also said they were washing their hands more, avoiding public places and so on… older men reported far less worry about catching COVID-19.  They also had incorporated the fewest number of behavioral changes (least likely to wear a mask in public or purchase extra food for extended stays at home).

Barber says the way to get older men to take the pandemic more seriously isn’t to get them to worry more, but to educate them about their level of risk and why it’s so important to take steps to protect themselves from infection.

Danielle Tufano

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