Experts explain why COVID-19 appears more fatal in men than women
WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM Existing data show the novel coronavirus has caused higher mortality in men than women.
Besides general poor health and habits like smoking and drinking for men that may cause damage to lungs, leading experts told Xinhua hormonal influences on the immune response may also play a key role in this phenomenon.
While addressing a White House daily briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House COVID-19 task force director, said a report from Italy shows that men in nearly every age bracket were dying at higher rates than women. She called it a «concerning trend.»
According to Italian health authorities, men accounted for 58 percent of all 13,882 COVID-19 cases in Italy between Feb. 21 and Mar. 12, and 72 percent of the 803 deaths, Xinhua reports.
Hospitalized men with COVID-19 were 75 percent more likely to die than were hospitalized women
Data from other countries also showed more men are dying of COVID-19 than women. A report of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that the mortality among men with confirmed coronavirus infections was roughly 65 percent higher than it was among women.
Unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol occur in more men than women, which may damage lungs and prime for inflammation when battling an infection, experts said.
Men tend to have more underlying health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease, according to Global Health 50/50, a research institute examining gender inequality in global health.
«While other factors, that may promote severe infection such as history of smoking and heart disease, also differ between men and women, the immune system is known to function differently between the sexes,» said Susan Kovats, an immunologist and microbiologist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, in an interview with Xinhua.