After analyzing over three million cases of COVID-19 in 46 countries worldwide, researchers are of the opinion that men have a significantly higher — 39 per cent risk of dying than women because of the pandemic.
The researchers arrived at this conclusion after studying the impact and spread of coronavirus over a six month period between Jan 1 – June 1, 2020.
The researchers found that “exactly half” the confirmed cases were men even though the risk of SARS-Cov-2 infection was the same for men and women.
Men are also more likely to die and three times more likely than women to need intensive care treatment, the study observed.
The study reportedly concluded that hypertension and diabetes as the most common comorbidities responsible for the hospitalization of COVID-19 patients – both men and women.
The researchers claimed that the trend is global leave aside a few exceptions and biological differences
“Sex differences in both the innate and adaptive immune system have been previously reported and may account for the female advantage in COVID-19,” the authors said.
Women naturally produce more type I interferon proteins that limit the abnormal immune response known as a cytokine storm, believed to play a role in provoking severe forms of COVID-19.
The “female” oestradiol hormone may also help women to fend off grave forms of the virus, as it boosts the response of T cells—which kill infected cells—and increases the production of antibodies, the study said.
“In contrast, the male sex hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system,” the authors noted.
Sex-based differences in comorbidities associated with severe COVID-19 may put men at outsize risk, they wrote in the study, published in Nature Communications.
These revelations may help doctors recognize the risk factors and manage patients which may also have implications for future vaccines.