COVID-19 causes more deaths among men than women
Deaths among men from the coronavirus COVID-19 are more numerous than among women. However, women have accounted for more cases of infection than men to date, both in Spain, China and Italy, where the first outbreaks of the virus were detected.
This is the main conclusion of the webinar organized by Fundació ACE that had yesterday as speaker Dr. Maria Teresa Ferretti, co-founder of the organization Women's Brain Project, who spoke about COVID-19, gender differences and clinical trials.
Thus, according to the data provided by Ferretti, the first evidence of this situation occurred in China, where 63.8% of the deaths recorded as a result of COVID-19 were men, while the mortality rate among women reached 36.2%. These percentages have been reproduced at practically the same level in Italy.
As regards Spain, to date 59.5% of deaths due to coronavirus occurred among men, whereas those of women represented 40.5% of the total. However, if we talk about the number of recorded cases of contagion, 54.1% of women have suffered from the disease compared to 45.9% of men.
Regarding other diseases or risk factors that those affected might have before becoming ill with coronavirus, the persons with the greatest risk were those who suffered from comorbidity, that is, who had two or more diseases or disorders at the same time. In these cases, the main risk factors are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and previous respiratory diseases.
Gender differences in symptoms
According to Dr. Maria Teresa Ferretti, there are also gender differences in suffering the effects of COVID-19. Thus, men have more symptoms such as fever, pneumonia or dyspnea (choking or difficulty in breathing). In contrast, women often notice other symptoms such as diarrhoea, sore throat or vomiting. In addition, all the data collected indicate that the progression of the symptoms of COVID-19 is faster among men than among women.
One of the possible explanations for the fact that women are more infected by coronavirus than men is that they are more exposed to the virus due to gender roles, mainly as caregivers, and that 70% of health personnel are women and have more contact with infected people.
According to the representative of the Women's Brain Project, one of the main future challenges in the field of clinical trials could be to experiment with estrogens (female sex hormones) to see if they can help men fight the effects of the coronavirus.
The full webinar can be viewed here (in English):