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Catalan district with 200,000 residents becomes first in Spain to be put under local lockdown after Covid-19 spike - rt

Catalan district with 200,000 residents becomes first in Spain to be put under local lockdown after Covid-19 spike

Officials in the northeastern Spanish province of Catalonia have imposed a local lockdown in Segria county, home to more than 200,000 people, after a spike in Covid-19 cases.
rt - 53 minutes ago
Madeleine McCann suspect twice kicked out of Portugal for child sex crimes - metro

Madeleine McCann suspect twice kicked out of Portugal for child sex crimes

Brueckner admitted before a judge that he was a sexual predator.
metro - 56 minutes ago
French homegrown ISIS terrorist sentenced to 30 years for aggravated murder & leading group of jihadists - rt

French homegrown ISIS terrorist sentenced to 30 years for aggravated murder & leading group of jihadists

A senior French ISIS member, who converted to Islam at 21, has been locked up for 30 years. It’s the first time a Paris court has imposed a sentence for jihadist crimes committed in Syria.
rt - 1 hour ago
14 people feared dead at flooded nursing home in southern Japan - rt

14 people feared dead at flooded nursing home in southern Japan

The governor of Kumamoto Prefecture in southern Japan has revealed that 14 people have been found without vital signs at a flooded nursing home. The shocking news comes amid heavy flooding in the region.
rt - 2 hours ago
Germany joins tiny host of European nations by making

Germany joins tiny host of European nations by making 'upskirting' punishable crime

German MPs have followed their UK and French colleagues, backing legislation that carries a fine or even a prison term for taking unsolicited photos under somebody's clothing.
rt - 16 hours ago
How Rock Against Racism brought together Britons of all ethnic backgrounds - channel 4

How Rock Against Racism brought together Britons of all ethnic backgrounds

Rock Against Racism concerts swept the country to a sound track of punk and reggae - bringing together Britons of all ethnic backgrounds.
channel 4 - 17 hours ago
‘For certain restaurants there has to be a stimulus package from the government’ – chef Angela Hartnett - channel 4

‘For certain restaurants there has to be a stimulus package from the government’ – chef Angela Hartnett

We spoke to the chef Angela Hartnett at one of her restaurants in London Bridge, which is due to open to customers later this month.
channel 4 - 17 hours ago
Johnson says ‘not out of woods yet’ as pubs and restaurants in England prepare to reopen - channel 4

Johnson says ‘not out of woods yet’ as pubs and restaurants in England prepare to reopen

There will still be restrictions to ensure people maintain social distancing, and the rules vary across the nations.
channel 4 - 17 hours ago
Scotland and Wales governments call UK air-bridge plans ‘shambolic’ - channel 4

Scotland and Wales governments call UK air-bridge plans ‘shambolic’

The government has published a list of 73 countries and territories which, from 10 July, are exempt.
channel 4 - 17 hours ago
France to probe ex-PM & ministers over handling of Covid-19 – prosecutors - rt

France to probe ex-PM & ministers over handling of Covid-19 – prosecutors

France’s former prime minister Edouard Philippe and its health officials will be the targets of a probe into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors say. 
rt - 17 hours ago
No more slaves and masters: Twitter engineers BAN whole range of terms in fight for

No more slaves and masters: Twitter engineers BAN whole range of terms in fight for 'more inclusive language'

Twitter’s engineering team will systematically purge a list of offensive terms from its source code and internal documents in the name of political correctness. Terms like “master” and “slave” will go, as will gendered pronouns.
rt - 17 hours ago
‘Evil’ Ghislaine Maxwell ‘helped Jeffrey Epstein gang-rape child dozens of times’ - metro

‘Evil’ Ghislaine Maxwell ‘helped Jeffrey Epstein gang-rape child dozens of times’

The unnamed victim says she was attacked by Maxwell and Epstein from when she was just 14
metro - 17 hours ago
‘Don’t let your country down’, PM warns public before ‘Super Saturday’ - metro

‘Don’t let your country down’, PM warns public before ‘Super Saturday’

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers in England have all been given the green light to open tomorrow.
metro - 20 hours ago
Iran says cause of mysterious incident that damaged nuclear facility ‘has been determined’ - rt

Iran says cause of mysterious incident that damaged nuclear facility ‘has been determined’

Iran’s National Security Council has determined the cause of a mysterious incident that damaged the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility. The council is keeping quiet on the cause for now, citing “security considerations.”
rt - 21 hours ago
Probe launched amid outrage after Aussie govt conservationist revealed to be big-game hunter - rt

Probe launched amid outrage after Aussie govt conservationist revealed to be big-game hunter

Aussie animal lovers and politicians alike are in uproar after it emerged that a man hired as a conservationist was in fact a big-game hunter who had posed with numerous dead animals that he killed in South Africa.
rt - 21 hours ago
UN ‘alarmed’ as hundreds arrested since ‘vague’ Hong Kong national security law passed - rt

UN ‘alarmed’ as hundreds arrested since ‘vague’ Hong Kong national security law passed

Hundreds of people have been arrested since the controversial new national security law went into effect in Hong Kong, the United Nations has said. It warns that the “vague” legislation could undermine human rights.
rt - 21 hours ago
Cash-loving Japan to take currency online, as it begins experimenting with digital yen - rt

Cash-loving Japan to take currency online, as it begins experimenting with digital yen

Japan’s central bank has announced it’s experimenting with a digital currency that could replace the traditional yen, signaling a possible shift away from coinage in the cash-loving nation.
rt - 22 hours ago
Series 5, Episode 10: Amrou Al-Khadi - channel 4

Series 5, Episode 10: Amrou Al-Khadi

Amrou Al-Kadhi, also known as Glamrou is a writer, drag performer, filmmaker and author.
channel 4 - 22 hours ago
Celebrating July 4th Like This Isn

Celebrating July 4th Like This Isn't a Pandemic Will Cost Lives

Forty states are seeing their case numbers rise. Maybe rethink the family BBQ this weekend?
vice - 22 hours ago
Donald Trump plans biggest July 4 fireworks ever despite record Covid-19 diagnoses - metro

Donald Trump plans biggest July 4 fireworks ever despite record Covid-19 diagnoses

President Trump is planning the biggest fireworks display in US history despite an ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases
metro - 23 hours ago
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channel 4
FactCheck: are bald men at greater risk of severe coronavirus illness?

FactCheck: are bald men at greater risk of severe coronavirus illness?

channel 4 - 4 weeks ago

Dozens of media outlets have run stories today on a study that seems to show a link between baldness and the chance of severe coronavirus infection.

But on closer inspection, the relationship isnt so clear.

The study

Researchers in the US and Spain teamed up for this study of 175 coronavirus patients who were treated at three hospitals in Madrid during March and April.

The pre-print version of the paper, which is due to be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, is titled: Androgenetic Alopecia Present in the Majority of Hospitalized Covid-19 Patients.

The study does not adjust for age, which is known to be the biggest single risk factor when it comes to getting severe, or even fatal, coronavirus illness.

However, the paper does make some initial comparisons. The researchers found 79 per cent of men in their sample who were hospitalised with coronavirus were bald, versus a 31-53 per cent baldness rate in an age-matched, similar Caucasian population.

Put side by side, that seems to show a very striking relationship between hair loss and the chances of severe covid-19 illness – and one that does not appear to be explained by age.

The limits

But theres a catch. The source for the claim that 31-53 per cent of people in a similar Caucasian population are bald is an Australian study from 2003 which looked at men aged between 40 and 69.

Thats a problem when we consider that the age group most at risk from coronavirus complications is the over-70s.

As the authors of the Madrid study say: The precise AGA [androgenic alopecia, the type of baldness that most often affects men] rate in age-matched, not admitted covid-19 population is still unknown to draw further conclusions.

In other words, until we have more precise data on the rate of baldness in the general population broken down by age, we cannot say with any certainty if there is a correlation between hair loss and severe coronavirus.

What do we know about baldness among older people?

That said, there is other research that could shed some light on hair loss rates among the elderly.

A 2005 study of 739 Danish twins found that just 28 per cent of men over 70 in their sample had almost all hair intact.

That means the remaining 72 per cent had some degree of baldness (as measured on the same scale used by todays Madrid researchers).

These findings are consistent with a 1975 study of baldness in Caucasian men, which found 70 per cent were bald by the age of 79.

Were not in a position to make age-matched comparisons with the patients in the Madrid study.

But if it is as common for men over 70 as this research suggests, it seems the rate of hair loss among severely ill coronavirus patients in the Madrid sample is about what wed expect, given baldness in the wider population of those most likely to have severe covid-19 (the elderly).

Further caveats

In any case, we should remember that todays report is a study of relatively few patients (175) in a small geographic area (one city), and that, as the researchers describe: The patients were randomly examined by dermatologists that were assisting with the overwhelming amount of admitted patients.

All of these factors leave open the possibility that we are not seeing a truly representative snapshot of covid-19 patients from which to draw wider conclusions.

And of course, the comparisons with a Caucasian population are not very helpful when we dont know the ethnic make-up of the patients in the Madrid sample.

FactCheck verdict

A medium-sized study of patients in three Madrid hospitals has attracted attention today after it appeared to show a strong correlation between baldness and the chance of severe coronavirus illness.

The study does not adjust for age, which we know is the biggest single risk factor for serious covid-19 disease. However, it does compare the rate of baldness among severely ill patients (79 per cent) with the level of baldness in an age-matched, similar Caucasian population, which the researchers say is estimated at 31 to 53 per cent.

This suggests a much higher rate of baldness among severely ill coronavirus patients than would be expected given levels of hair loss in the general population – and that the relationship cannot be explained fully by age.

But theres a catch: the 31-51 per cent baseline comes from a study of men aged 40 to 69. So it doesnt tell us about men over 70, the group at the highest risk of severe coronavirus illness.

Separate studies have estimated that around three quarters of Caucasian men aged over 70 had some degree of hair loss. So its possible that the rate of baldness among patients in the Madrid sample is about in line with what wed expect in men of that age. Though, as the researchers concede, we cant say for certain without more detailed data on hair loss in the wider population.

sauce: channel 4
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