WOMEN FIGHT COVID 19 BETTER THAN MEN


WOMEN FIGHT COVID 19 BETTER THAN MEN

It is no secret that males are the weaker gender in many aspects. On an average, men die younger than women and the prevalence of life threatening diseases such as heart attacks; stroke and cancer are more in men than in women. The same holds true with respect to Covid 19 infection too.

Analysis of COVID 19 data suggests that more men get infected with SARS CoV 2 than women. The difference is more striking when we look at Covid 19 related deaths. About 70% of those dying due to Covid 19 are men. There could be several factors leading to these differences:

  1. Women mount better immune response: Women mount a stronger immune response to vaccines as well as infections. The prevalence of autoimmune diseases is significantly higher in women than in men. Many of the critical immune genes are located on X chromosomes, and women have two of them (compared to one X chromosome in men). The protein by which corona viruses are sensed is encoded on X chromosomes. That means this protein is expressed at twice the dose on many immune cells in women compared to men, which in turn could well be boosting females’ ability to ward off COVID-19. (Philip Goulder, Oxford University)
  2. Prevalence of comorbid conditions is higher in men: Studies have shown that deaths due to Covid 19 are higher in people with heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, lung diseases, etc. Men tend to have a higher prevalence of these diseases than women.
  3. Higher incidence of alcoholism and smoking: Death rates due to Covid 19 are higher in smokers and alcoholics. In most countries, drinking and smoking are more prevalent in men than in women.
  4. Better hygiene among women: Women practise hygiene-related precautions such as hand-washing more often than men. Women, by culture or habit, tend to cover their faces more often than men, thereby reducing the risk of transmitting as well as acquiring Covid 19 infection.

Published by Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine) DM (Neurology)

I am a doctor with 25 years experience. I have worked as a neurologist for about 20 years. Educating public and healthcare professionals is very dear to me. This is possible due to my interactions with thousands of patients and their caregivers. I salute the patients who suffer and it is our duty to minimise suffering by preventing diseases and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment of those already affected.

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