Can coronavirus affect men more than women?
The statistics on the pandemic are updated every day, and data has emerged that leads to the investigation of whether the coronavirus can affect men more than women. In this article we are going to tell you what is known about it.
To find out if the coronavirus can affect men more than women, what we have to do is refer to the statistics. All affected countries are completing real-time data to understand how the infection behaves among their populations.
China was the first country to experience the COVID-19 outbreak. And also the first to release initial data on the epidemiological profile of the infection. Then the other States joined with their local information.
Most have agreed that men are more affected by coronavirus than women. But this has nothing to do with contagiousness, but with lethality.
The difference between SARS-CoV-2 infected males and infected females is minimal. Almost all geographical areas show differences of 2 to 4% between the sexes. It is not a significant value.
However, when the aggressive and lethal effect of coronavirus is analyzed, then it is possible to affirm that it affects men more than women. Although they are infected at an older age on average. Still, women are less hospitalized and require fewer intensive care beds.
Previous pathologies explain why the coronavirus can affect men more
Global statistics agree that coronavirus can affect men more than women. This information has been repeated on all continents.
The turning point is that males die more from coronaviruses, proportionally than females. And it is speculated that the fatal outcome linked to comorbidities.
We already know that the risk groups for severe forms of the disease are those with chronic pathologies, such as hypertension, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Similarly, cancer and immunosuppressed patients are at increased risk.
It turns out that, generally speaking, men are more affected by hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases than women. If we stick to European statistics, almost 50% of men are hypertensive. While in women that value drops to 37%.
Something similar happens with respiratory pathologies, adding smoking, which is a more common habit among men. This is consistent with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) being more than twice as common in men as in women.
Males have a higher risk of coronavirus because they have more heart comorbidities than females.
In addition to the age composition of the affected groups, there is a theory that is sustained in the hormonal profile. Based on this hypothesis, estrogens may explain why coronavirus may affect men more than women.
After the SARS and MERS epidemics, two coronaviruses that affected humanity in the last twenty years. Scientific studies were carried out on these viruses. Some of these studies found that female mice were more resistant to coronavirus than males.
To continue the study, they advanced to a second phase where they removed the ovaries from the mice. In this way, they stopped producing female hormones such as estrogens. At that time, the females reached the contagion rate of the males.
Although it is an animal study, and with a variety of coronavirus that is not the current one. It allows us to suppose the association. More research would be necessary in this regard. But at least it generates a field of study to continue.
The gender problem in the pandemic
Beyond the fact that the coronavirus can affect men more than women, the issue of gender differences caused by the pandemic is important. Both economically and in exposure to the virus in hospitals and clinics.
Women may see their economic activity greatly diminished when quarantines are declared. A classic example of these situations is domestic workers, who are unable to get to their jobs.
At the same time, much of the front-line workforce in health teams are women. The experience with the Ebola outbreak, for example, between 2014 and 2016, showed that nurses were highly exposed to the virus because they were more than men at the forefront of nursing tasks.
The Bottom Line
The difference in involvement between men and women should not be a reason to modify general preventive practices. Both of us must maintain social isolation, do frequent handwashing with soap and check if we have symptoms compatible with coronavirus.