COVID-19: Men die twice as often as women

COVID-19: Men die twice as often as women

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Is COVID-19 more dangerous for men?

Men suffer from severe courses of COVID-19 and die more often than women, although SARS-CoV-2 infections are approximately equally common in both sexes. This was found in a recent Chinese study.

The latest investigation by the Capital Medical University in Beijing found that men are more likely to be affected by corona and die more often from the effects of the disease than women who are sick. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Frontiers in Public Health".

Gender differences in COVID-19

The researchers looked at why some people are affected by the virus more than others. To do this, they first examined gender differences in people with COVID-19. It was found that men and women were equally likely to contract the virus, but men were much more likely to suffer and die from the serious consequences of the disease.

Most people get sick only slightly

While most people with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms, identifying the factors that predispose people to serious illness and death could help society identify, protect, and treat the most vulnerable.

Which people are particularly at risk?

The results of the study suggest that additional care may be required in older men or people with underlying medical conditions. Older people with COVID-19 and people with certain underlying diseases such as heart disease and respiratory diseases are at higher risk of serious illness and death.

Are men more susceptible to COVID-19?

However, the researchers identified a previously unknown trend among those who died from COVID-19. In early January, they found that the number of men who died from COVID-19 appeared to be higher than the number of women. This raised an important question: Are men more susceptible to developing or dying of COVID-19?

Where did the evaluated data come from?

The researchers found that no one had examined the gender differences of people with COVID-19. They analyzed several patient data sets to determine whether there were differences in the response of men and women to COVID-19. This included data from 43 people treated by the researchers themselves, as well as a publicly available data set of 1,056 people with COVID-19. Since the virus SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19 is similar to the virus that was responsible for the SARS outbreak in 2003, the researchers also analyzed a data set of 524 SARS sufferers.

Men were more prone to a more serious illness

Among those with COVID-19, it was confirmed that older people and people with specific underlying diseases tended to become more seriously ill and were more likely to die. The age and number of infected men and women were similar, but men were prone to more serious illness, the researchers report.

Men died almost 2.5 times as often as women

It is striking that in the largest COVID-19 data set, over 70 percent of the deceased were men, which means that men died almost 2.5 times as often as women. The fact that being male was a significant risk factor for serious illnesses regardless of age, the researchers explain.

SARS data set showed significantly higher mortality rate in men

In the SARS data set, the researchers identified a similar trend with a significantly higher mortality rate in men compared to women. Interestingly, the concentrations of ACE2, the receptor that is involved in viral infection in both SARS and COVID-19, tend to be higher in men. This is also the case for people with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, all of whom had worse results with COVID-19 (see: COVID-19: Why heart disease is more often seriously ill).

More research is needed

More research is needed to determine exactly why men tend to be more affected by COVID-19 and also die more often from the disease. The results of the current study indicate that the male sex is a significant risk factor for the severity and risk of death in COVID-19. The study could have important implications for patient care in the future. The researchers recommend that additional supportive care and immediate access to the intensive care unit may be required in older male patients. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Jian-Min Jin, Peng Bai, Wei He, Fei Wu, Xiao-Fang Liu et al .: Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality, in Frontiers in Public Health (Published Apr 29, 2020), Frontiers in Public Health

Video: Why more men than women are infected by COVID-19? (October 2022).