Are men more vulnerable to Covid-19?

T E Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Jun 20, 2020

Genome sequencing requires samples from Covid-19-positive patients

Are men more at risk due to covid? Yes, according to a global data. Out of the 56 countries, including India, for which data is available, in 48 countries more number of men have been victims of the virus.

In eight countries - Scotland, Portugal, Ireland, Canada, Estonia, Slovenia, Finland and Hungary - more women have died due to the virus, says data collated by Global Health 50/50, an initiative that advocates for gender equality in health.

Costa Rica holds the highest number with 90 per cent of covid deaths being men. In Haiti, it was 80 per cent; in the US, which is worst affected by the virus, it was 54 per cent. In both China - the virus’ origin - and India, it was 64 per cent, data shows.

Preliminary reports of people with severe covid disease have found associations with existing comorbidities, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These conditions tend to be more burdensome among men globally. This disease burden may in part be driven by higher levels of risky behaviours, that are consistently found to be more common among men than women worldwide, the agency said.

In a similar findings, a report on ‘Sex-specific clinical characteristics and prognosis of coronavirus disease-19 infection in Wuhan, China: A retrospective study of 168 severe patients’ by Meng Y; Wu P; Lu W; Liu K; Ma K and Huang L published by PLOS, a nonprofit, Open Access publisher, said that male patients appeared to be more susceptible to age and co-morbidities. Sex is an important biological variable that should be considered in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

For the study, the authors included 168 consecutive severe patients with pathogen-confirmed covid who were hospitalised between January 16 and February 4, 2020, at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the virus is said to have originated.

Of the 86 male patients, 12.8 per cent (11/86) died and 75.6 per cent (65/86) were discharged. Out of the 82 female patients, 7.3 per cent (6/82) died and 86.6 per cent (71/82) were discharged, the report said.

Published on June 20, 2020
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