Now, a comprehensive analysis of more than 3 million Covid-19 cases from January to June showed that male patients with the disease had “almost three times the chances” requires admission to intensive care as female patients.
In addition, men were almost 1.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than women – although both sexes had the same risk of infection.
The researchers analyzed data from 90 reports involving 46 countries and 44 U.S. states. These data showed that there were approximately 1.57 million women and approximately 1.53 million men in the cases included in the study.
Yet when it came to admitting more than 12,000 hospital intensive care units, about 8,000 of them were men and 4,000 were women, the researchers found.
Of the more than 200,000 Covid-19 deaths in the study, about 120,000 were men and 91,000 were women.
Many parts of the immune system that work together to protect the body against viruses do not work exactly the same in men and women, and the study says more research is needed to determine which specific biological factors can lead to these differences.
“Men and women differ in almost every branch of the immune system. These range from early immune responses to viral infection, T-cell responses, B-cell responses, and immune memory,” said Dr. Kate Webb, author of the study, pediatric Consultant rheumatologist at Cape Town University and the Francis Crick Institute in London.
“There may be a number of possible reasons for these differences in immunity: hormones have an immunological effect, and women have two X chromosomes compared to men. X chromosomes are full of genes encoding immunity.”
Sex is an “underrated variable”
Many diseases affect men and women in different ways. Why this is the case may depend on a complex mixture of biology and behavior that is difficult to unravel.
A further explanation for the inequality is that men are more likely to have certain pre-existing health conditions or comorbidities that put them at risk. However, researchers say they do not have enough data on these factors.
However, the team noted that there are no significant gender differences globally in the proportion of adults with hypertension (hypertension) or diabetes, and these are the most commonly reported comorbidities in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Men are also more likely to smoke, but the study found that smoking did not become a clear risk factor.
In previous coronavirus outbreaks, the study found that men had a worse clinical outcome during the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong and Singapore. Saudi Arabia also had a higher risk of dying from MERS.
Evolutionarily, some research suggests that women have a stronger immune response to viral infections than men because they are biologically They spend part of their lives with a foreign body inside – an infant – thus giving them a survival advantage.
According to the study’s authors, sex remains an “underestimated variable when questioning the outcome of infectious diseases.”
“Sex has traditionally been underestimated in scientific research, from basic laboratory to bedside clinical research,” Webb said in an email.
“Involving females in basic laboratory research presents a variation that would not exist if only male cell or animal models were used, so they were generally excluded. Gender-based differences are omitted even in the earliest laboratory research.”