A new study lists Buffalo as the nation's most dangerous city for online dating.
The study, conducted by security review company SafeWise and HighSpeedInternet.com, ranked 56 U.S. cities based on two risk factors that researchers said were key to online dating safety: STD cases and violent crime rates, both adjusted for population. Using these metrics, researchers produced safety scores for each city.
The study cited Buffalo as having the highest STD rate within the cities in the study and the 11th highest violent crime rate.
But it based the STD rate on faulty numbers.
The report initially said that Buffalo, with a population of 258,071, had a rate of sexually transmitted diseases of 8,121 cases per 100,000 people based on 20,957 total cases in 2015. It cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data as its source.
But the CDC reports STD cases by metropolitan statistical areas, not by city. The Buffalo-Niagara metro area, according to the CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau, has 1,135,479 people and had 8,062 reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases in 2015.
That comes out to an overall rate of 710 cases per 100,000 people for the metro area.
When contacted by The Buffalo News, a spokeswoman for SafeWise acknowledged there were "miscalculations" in the Buffalo STD rates. The company, however, continued to use the population of the City of Buffalo rather than the metro area in its new calculation.
The rates of disease listed by the CDC for the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area were: 519 chlamydia cases per 100,000 population compared to 495 for the national average; 174 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 compared to an average of 137, and 17 syphilis cases per 100,000 syphilis compared to an average of 31.
In no case in 2015, did the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area have the largest number or highest rate of STDs compared to other major metro areas, according to the CDC data.
Erie County accounted for 6,953 of the metro area's reported sexually transmitted disease cases in 2015, most of them centered in seven zip codes in Buffalo with minority and low-income populations, according to Erie County data. The statistics show that the number of cases of gonorrhea has significantly increased in recent years from 1,155 in 2014 to 1,874 in 2015.