Coronavirus Research Studies Indicate That Men Have A higher Probability of Contracting The Virus and Also Dying From It
studies show that the new SARS-CoV02 coronavirus
that causes the Covid-19 disease has infected more men than women, and medical scientists are divided about why that is.
A detailed coronavirus research
study of more than 44,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China offers one of the broadest pictures of how the virus operates in humans so far. The study found that men are more likely to die of the virus, with a fatality rate of 2.8% compared to 1.7% for women. Men also represented a slight majority of cases: around 51%. (Reference to study is found here: https://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/e53946e2-c6c4-41e9-9a9b-fea8db1a8f51
Most other recent studies have produced similar results. A February study of nearly 140 coronavirus
patients at a Wuhan University hospital found that the virus was most likely to affect older men with preexisting health problems. More than 54% of the patients in the study were men, and the median age of patients was 56. (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761044
Another coronavirus research
study of 99 patients at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital showed that the average patient was 55.5 years old, and men represented around 68% of the total cases. A third study of nearly 1,100 coronavirus
patients (which is still awaiting peer review) identified a median age of 47, with men representing around 58% of the cases. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30211-7/fulltext#seccestitle140
Some data from these studies has led some medical researchers to suspect that certain biological factors might make men more susceptible to the virus.
However it should be noted that Chinese men also smoke more than Chinese women, which increases their risk of respiratory problems.
Researchers also examined past data on the SARS virus, which is a close “cousin” of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus
, and which also which also affected more men than women, hoping to find certain clues.
In 2017, researchers at the University of Iowa infected male and female mice with SARS in order to investigate that gender disparity. Mouse studies don't necessarily have definitive implications for humans, but the researchers did find that male mice were more susceptible to the virus than female mice. (
team attributed those results to genes on the X chromosome and hormones such as estrogen that may keep a coronavirus
from spreading throughout the female body.
The medical researchers at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital gave a similar explanation for why more of their coronavirus
patients were men, suggesting that women may have a "reduced susceptibility" to viral infections. But they also said many patients with severe cases had chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Those illnesses tend to affect middle-aged men more than middle-aged women.
The executive director of the World Heath Organization's Health Emergencies Program, Michael Ryan, said smoking was "an excellent hypothesis" for why the virus has affected more men. A 2010 national survey of smoking in China found that 62% of Chinese men had been smokers at some point, while only 3% of Chinese women had ever smoked.( https://jech.bmj.com/content/71/2/154
He added that smoking is a risk factor any type of lower respiratory-tract infection.
Dr Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at the Honor Health medical group in Arizona said that anyone with a history of smoking would be more vulnerable to this coronavirus
She told Thailand Medical News
, "Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and often causes pneumonia, having a history of smoking could increase the risk of more severe respiratory distress or pneumonia."
Thailand Medical News
however notes that more data and scientific studies is needed to collaborate this theory.
also showed that the share of male and female coronavirus
patients in the Intensive Care Unit was about the same as the share of male and female coronavirus
patients in other parts of the hospital. That suggests men's symptoms so far aren't necessarily more severe than women's overall (though many patients are still hospitalized, so their conditions could change).
However some researchers warn that any dataset from this coronavirus
outbreak is still inherently limited.
Some medical experts say that women have a more potent immune system than men and that is why men are often more prone to infections. The estrogen hormone could play a role in this.
However it has been interesting observed that as a result of women having a very potent immunity system, it can sometimes backfire and lead to auto-immune diseases. It has been confirmed that women have a higher incidence of developing auto-immune diseases compared to men.
Another interesting coronavirus research
study findings that also emerged is that the coronavirus
could affect certain men and cause infertility issues in them, even after they have recovered from the coronavirus
and the researchers in the study are asking that careful urological check ups are conducted on all recovered males. (https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news!-latest-research-published-by-chinese-scientists-say-coronavirus-might-render-certain-male-patients-infertile
Thailand Medical news will be covering more articles on all the latest coronavirus research
over the next few days.