Health & Wellbeing

Large US study affirms men more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women

Large US study affirms men mor...
Research suggests male susceptibility to COVID-19 is independent of age, income, and various other demographic factors
Research suggests male susceptibility to COVID-19 is independent of age, income, and various other demographic factors
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Research suggests male susceptibility to COVID-19 is independent of age, income, and various other demographic factors
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Research suggests male susceptibility to COVID-19 is independent of age, income, and various other demographic factors

A new study looking at data from nearly 100,000 subjects in Houston, Texas, has affirmed men seem much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women. The study found men, independent of age, are more likely to contract the virus, suffer from severe complications, and die from the disease compared to women.

One of several compelling epidemiological observations arising in 2020, as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread across the world, was the tendency for men to be hit harder by COVID-19 than women. Early, small studies out of China seemed to suggest men were suffering from more severe cases of COVID-19.

This new research, led by Farhaan Vahidy from the Houston Methodist Research Institute, set out to investigate the association between biological sex and COVID-19 in a large US metropolitan city. Data from nearly 100,000 subjects undergoing SARS-CoV-2 testing were analyzed.

The results revealed men were more likely to test positive for the virus, they were more likely to be admitted into intensive care, and ultimately more likely to die from the disease. According to the researchers, these sex differences were still present even after adjusting for, “age, race, ethnicity, marital status, insurance type, median income, BMI, smoking and 17 comorbidities.”

Early on in the pandemic the observation that males were more susceptible to COVID-19 was hypothesized to be due to gender differences in social behaviors. A CDC report published in July 2020 suggested men are more likely to downplay the risk of COVID-19, disregard preventative advice such as social distancing and mask-wearing, and engage in high-risk activities such as attending public gatherings.

Although the CDC report did not disregard the possible biological sex differences that could influence COVID-19 severity, the study did hypothesize psychosocial and behavioral factors play a significant role in explaining epidiomelogical differences between men and women. However, Vahidy and colleagues note in their new study that there has been enough observation of COVID-19 sex differences across a spread of cultural and geographical areas to suggest the differences may not primarily be social or behavioral.

“While gender-related behaviors such as smoking, drinking, the propensity to seek hospital care and presence of comorbidities could affect the outcome of COVID-19, the increased risk of death seen in males across several different cultures in the world point to biological risk determinants,” the researchers write.

It is not unusual for diseases to affect men and women differently. Parkinson’s disease, for example, occurs in men much more frequently than women, while Alzheimer’s disease is the other way around, striking women at much higher rates than men. A growing body of research is working to unpack the biological sex differences in disease risk.

In the case of COVID-19, scientists are investigating several possible reasons for why the disease could hit men harder than women. A robust article in Nature last year presented a strong case for sex-based immune differences being key to variances in disease severity, while a more recent Australian study suggested men have more ACE2 receptors on lower lung cells which could account for their greater vulnerability to COVID-19.

“Sex disparities in COVID-19 vulnerability are present, and emphasize the importance of examining sex-disaggregated data to improve our understanding of the biological processes involved to potentially tailor treatment and risk stratify patients,” conclude Vahidy and colleagues in the new study.

The new research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Source: Houston Methodist

6 comments
6 comments
nick101
What can you do? The percentage of people who get seriously ill from this thing is still incredibly low.
wolf0579
Hospitals are now so full people are being triaged to keep the medical system from breaking... that's not what I call an incredibly low death rate. I swear I will beat to the ground, the next imbecile who claims this is not a serious disease within my hearing.

These @ssholes spreading the virus upon the command of their cult-leader and National Traitor, Trump, not wearing masks, or wearing them improperly, should jailed for public endangerment..
undrgrndgirl
what wolf059 said...
and i'll add that some 80% of those who recover go on to have long-term, possibly permanent, damage to their pulmonary, circulatory and nervous systems.
Brian M
@wolf0579
In statistical terms the direct morbidity due to COVID-19 is very small, we have a world population of 7.8 billion and total COVID-19 deaths of 2.02m (at time of writing), that is a very low overall death risk for the world population.

Putting any morality aside (which of course can't be ignored in a civil society) then the risk to us as a species is even lower given the demographics of those that die from the disease COVID-19.

That doesn't mean social distancing , hand washing and lockdowns are not required as it will reduce infection rates and deaths. In fact, I would subscribe that the lockdowns have been pointless due to them being too late, too weak and too short to be effective enough!

Best to look as SARS-CoV-2 virus as a dress rehearsal for something a lot worse in the future, unless we curb human population growth and curtail other planet damaging practices!
ljaques
So how did those 100k pan out? What were the actual numbers of men vs women? And I direct Wolf to the woman in the UK who was arrested for showing the empty hospital wards during the most recent lockdown. This whole thing it politicized out of proportion. (I still mask up/wash up/sanitize frequently.)
ReservoirPup
Right, ljaques , the main numbers have gone missing. What is the ratio?