Why is Covid-19 killing more men than women?
April 6, 2020 - Men infected with Covid-19 appear to be at a significantly higher risk of having severe symptoms and dying when compared to women, according to data collected by Global Health 50/50.
During previous outbreaks of coronavirus, such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), men seemed to be more disproportionately affected than women.
This time around, in almost all countries, the majority of people dying from Covid-19 are men.
Data from China first revealed a gender gap in deaths, with 64 percent of male sufferers dying compared to 36 percent of women. Figures from the two hardest-hit European nations, Italy and Spain, confirm this trend.
One suspect: Globally, men are more likely to have smoked more heavily and for longer periods than women. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is urging research into smoking’s connection to Covid-19.
Hormones may also play a role. In 2017, University of Iowa researchers infected mice with SARS and, just like had happened in people, males were more likely to die. Oestrogen seemed protective – when their ovaries were removed, deaths among female mice jumped, the team reported in the Journal of Immunology.
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