WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A few weeks after the outbreak started, researchers found out that most of those critically affected are older men and had a history of other illnesses.
- During the SARS outbreak in 2003, it was reported that more men than women got infected.
- The occurrence can be attributed to hormonal differences, as remarked by a science author.
Infectious disease researchers now have a reason to believe that men could be more prone to be infected with Coronavirus.
This is because various statistical reports indicate that most of the infected patients are seemed to be older men who have either previous or other existing ailments.
In a study published by Lancet medical magazine from the previous month, they estimated that among 99 infected patients who were admitted to a hospital in Wuhan, China, two out of three are within the average age group 55.5 years old.
Research from other sources also yielded the same result.
This includes a recent study of around 140 patients affected by the Coronavirus in Wuhan, and researchers observed that older men with preceding health problems have the higher potential to get the virus. In this study, more than half of the patients were men with an average age of 56.
Another associated research that studied more than 1,000 cases of Coronavirus infection determined that 58 percent are men, with 47 years as the median age.
Currently, there are more than 60,000 cases accounted to have the virus worldwide, and from these, 1,300 people have died. Most of the numbers are from mainland China.
British Indian science journalist, Anjana Ahuja, via her article in the Financial Times, remarked that these variances could be an eye-opener, adding that “a picture is emerging of COVID-19 as a novel pathogen that disproportionately affects older men, particularly those with existing illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.”
In the same column, Ahuja also remarked that the possible reasons for the discrepancy might be attributed to several factors, such as hormonal differences, due to smoking, and the disparity in hospital facilities that can have an impact on the autoimmune response of males against the disease.
Meanwhile, through a report, Financial Times stated that women’s natural susceptibility to autoimmune diseases might have given them a stronger immune system against the Coronavirus.
It was reported earlier that more men got infected than women in the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Medical researchers, such as the University of Iowa, performed an experiment with both genders of mice and discovered that the males have a higher risk of being infected by the virus. Researchers attributed the results to higher estrogen on females, which has anti-viral effects against flu-like diseases such as influenza.
Ahuja further said that some scientists believe that gender differences are now also important factors whether a person is more likely to be infected by the Coronavirus or not, rather than exposure alone.