Coronavirus update: Why men are more susceptible to a severe COVID-19 infection

Coronavirus deaths around the world have now reached a staggering figure of 822,000. A huge 15.6 million have made a full recovery, however a large percentage of the deaths from COVID-19 are men. Scientists have discovered why men are more prevalent to severe infections and possibly even death as opposed to women.

Researchers from Yale University revealed clues in the differences between males and females when it comes to a COVID-19 infection.

The team found that men and women may need separate types of vaccines and treatments due to the different ways the virus affects the body.

It was revealed that men may be more likely to suffer severe cases of a COVID-19 infection or even death as they have weaker immune responses.

The reason behind this may be due to men’s poorer production of a certain type of immune cell which kills the virus and helps fight off inflammation.

Globally, men account for around 60 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 with individual countries reporting similar outcomes.

In the UK, researchers studying 17 million adults found that men could possibly face nearly twice the risk of death from COVID-19 than their female counterparts.

Data out of China also showed that at least two-thirds of patients who died were male.

In a study published in the Frontiers in Public Health, gender differences in patients with COVID-19 relating to severity and mortality was investigated.

The study noted: “We extracted the data from a case series of 43 hospitalized patients we treated, a public data set of the first 37 cases of patients who died of COVID-19 and 1,019 patients who survived in China, and data of 524 patients with SARS, including 139 deaths, from Beijing in early 2003.

“In the case series men’s cases tended to be more serious than women’s”

The study concluded that while men and women have the same prevalence, men with COVID-19 are more at risk for worse outcomes and death, independent of age. 

What the experts said

Professor of Immunology at Yale University and senior author of the study, Dr Akiko Iwasaki said: “We now have clear data suggesting that the immune landscape in COVID-19 patients is considerably different between the sexes.

“These differences may underlie heightened disease susceptibility in men.

“Collectively, these data suggest we need different strategies to ensure that treatments and vaccines are equally effective for both women and men.”

Studies have reported that men have higher concentrations of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in their blood compared to women.

Since ACE2 enables the coronavirus to infect healthy cells, this may help to explain why men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women, researchers reported.

Men’s immune system and genetics may also be factors.

Women have an extra X chromosome aiding in a stronger immune system compared to men.

Therefore, women are able to better respond to infections than men.

Source: Read Full Article