An unpublished, non-peer-reviewed study was mentioned in a number of media outlets despite self-described “weak evidence.”
You may have seen that older adults face higher risks with COVID-19, but have you heard similar claims about those six feet tall and over?
That’s right. A study suggesting height may be a predictor of COVID-19 infection—with people 6 feet tall or taller more likely to contract the virus—recently made the internet rounds.
Needless to say, it blew the fact check.
Using a five-minute survey, the study aimed to identify “work-related and personal factors that contribute to or could limit the spread of the virus.” The authors describe “weak evidence” of a relationship between height and risk that might stem from the importance of aerosol transmission over droplet transmission.
The study was published in the preprint server medRxiv, so the findings have not been peer-reviewed, and for that reason, should not be used to guide clinical practice. Furthermore, a link between height and infection rate does not imply causation.
That didn’t stop media outlets including the New York Post from picking up the story and speculating wildly.
Rest assured: the claim is unproven. No conclusive scientific evidence exists linking height to COVID-19 infection.
So, tall people, best to listen to the authorities on COVID-19, like everyone else and avoid the unpublished studies and “weak evidence.”
The only sickness you need to worry about is altitude sickness.