Coronavirus: Why are Men More Affected by COVID-19 than Women?

In women, there is lower mortality and vulnerability rate while comparing to men due to the pandemic situation of COVID-19. Three different research publications affirmed this gender-difference analysis. Although, the reasons for such affirmation varies in all the three research publications. All these publications gave multiple answers for “Why are Men More Affected by COVID-19 than Women?”

“In men, the rate of mortality is 50% or higher than women”, says Wenham et. al.  In the earlier cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), this gender differences also came to light.

Researches Implicating Reasons for: “Why are Men More Affected by COVID-19 than Women?”

Women’s Adherence to COVID-19 Protocols is More than Men.

  • One of the researches confirming this gender differences was published in a journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). It suggested that such gender differences occurred as a result of women sticking more to the COVID-19 rules and policies as compared to men. This may be one of the reasons that women are less vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • “The biggest differences between men and women relate to behaviours that serve to protect others above all, such as coughing in the elbow, unlike those that can protect both themselves and others,” says Profeta.
  • Women perceive COVID-19 as a threat and a serious problem and thus, they act accordingly by following the protocols of COVID-19.
  • In this study, the survey covered eight different countries which were conducted in March and April, 2020. The countries included: Australia, Austria, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Thus, making a total of 21,649 respondents.
  • One of the authors of the study, Vincenzo Galasso, conveyed that in order to increase the adherence of the men towards the health policies of COVID-19, the authorities should adopt some policy measures.
  • Among married couples such differences are smaller. That’s because of the fact that they live together and tend to share their views among them and respect it.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Level Might be the Possible Cause for Vulnerability of Men to COVID-19.

  • Another research publication which supports the same gender-difference analysis is the European Heart Journal. The research reflects that the men are falling as a victim to this SARS-CoV-2 may be because of the increased amount of ACE2 in their plasma.
  • ACE2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) is a receptor present on the surface of healthy cells and this receptor acts as a entry point for the Coronavirus. The gene for ACE2 is located in the X-chromosome and is present in tissues of heart, kidneys and testes.
  • Expression of ACE2 in the testes also explains increased ACE2 concentration in plasma of men. Thus, men suffering more from diseases related to ACE2.
  • Several investigations reported that of all COVID-19 patients, 58.1% have been men and 41.9% have been women.

X-Chromosome may be Another Reason for Susceptibility of Men to COVID-19.

  • Another publication named Western Journal of Emergency Medicine suggested that men are more prone to the infection. It might be due to the presence of only one X-chromosome in men.
  • Increase level of testosterone is also a factor for vulnerability of men to COVID-19.
  • Moreover, smoking is also another factor. The rate of smoking in men is more as compared to women in China, Italy and the US.
  • Lauren A et. Al., stated that “The traditional caregivers and coordinators of care for their loved ones, women, particularly working mothers, tend to spend more time than men focused on medical issues related to both their own healthcare and that of their families”

Implications

There have been no such gender-biased or specific recommendations for the treatment and management of patients infected by the novel coronavirus.

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