Numerous studies have proved that the coronavirus is a particular danger for elderly people and patients first suffering from serious diseases. However, many forget about another risk group: the male part of the population.
According to statistics, men are more likely to test positive for coronavirus and, besides, their cases are more often fatal. For the first time this trend was noticed in China, where the mortality rate among males was 2.8% compared with 1.7% among women.
According to experts, the same is now happening in Iran, South Korea and several European countries. In Italy 71% of deaths are men, and in Spain the mortality rate among the male population is twice higher than among women.
So why are men more vulnerable to coronavirus?
As recognized by the Director of the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health, Professor Sarah Hawkes, scientists still find it difficult to give a precise answer to this question.
Experts have put forward several assumptions, chief among which was a greater number of smokers among men. In China smoke, about 50% of the male population and only 2% female, which of course can impact on the lung health of patients. In favor of this theory were also made by the authors of the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, noting that 26% of smokers, who are in the intensive care unit in China, died.
Other experts draw attention to the behavioral factor: according to several studies, men wash their hands and seek medical help less often women, and often ignore the advice of doctors.
However, many scientists are inclined to believe that the root of the problem is much deeper and can be associated with characteristics of the male immune or hormonal systems.
According to Sabra Klein of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Smoking is not a key reason for the higher mortality of the male population. Previous studies Klein already showed that innate antiviral immunity men react worse to a number of infections, including hepatitis C and HIV. Quite possibly, the coronavirus is no exception.
“It is likely that the immune system is [men] do not respond to the threat properly when the virus enters the body,” notes Klein.
Klein is confident that further studies will shed more light on this question. She noted that it has already studied the latest reports Chinese researchers on this issue — and, quite possibly, will soon be able to publish new data.