- Experts recently seen a greater number of men than women suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19
- It was observed in the emergency rooms of COVID-19 hotspots around the globe
- A professor of medical imaging in London said “More men than women have serious problems, and patients who are overweight or have previous health problems are at higher risk”
- While there is still no clear explanation about this, an expert say that the answer may be a mixture of both biology and environmental factors
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A greater number of men than women suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19 was observed in the emergency rooms of virus hotspots around the world, with obesity emerging as another potentially aggravating factor.
According to a report by Agence France-Presse, what first began to appear as a pattern in China has echoed through hospitals in other parts of the globe as the virus spreads, such as in Europe and the United States.
“More men than women have serious problems, and patients who are overweight or have previous health problems are at higher risk,” professor of medical imaging science at University College London, Derek Hill, said.
The report also says early statistics from Britain’s independent Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre on patients treated in intensive care for the disease confirm this phenomenon: 73% are men and 73.4% are classed as overweight. Obese people were also less likely to recover after receiving critical care.
A similar picture was also reportedly emerging in New York.
“I’m in the emergency room, and it’s remarkable—I’d estimate that 80% of the patients being brought in are men,” a reconstructive surgeon at Mount Sinai Health System, Hani Sbitany, said. Sbitany has been treating COVID-19 patients in Brooklyn.
“It’s four out of five patients,” he told the New York Times.
While they are still unsure why there are more men affected and it is too early to tell for certain, some experts say that it might not be men’s vulnerability that makes the difference – but women’s immune strength.
“Innate immunity is better in women, especially before menopause,” said Pierre Delobel, the head of the infectious diseases department at the Toulouse University Hospital.
James Gill, a locum doctor and honorary clinical lecturer at Warwick Medical School, said the answer may be a mixture of both biology and environmental factors.
One idea he stated was that women “may have a more aggressive immune system, meaning a greater resilience to infections.”
He also added “the assumption that simply men don’t look after their bodies as well, with higher levels of smoking, alcohol use, obesity” is another factor.
In a previous report by KAMI, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the new classification system for people being checked for coronavirus disease 2019.
The coronavirus outbreak started out in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Scientists believed that the virus came from an animal at one of Wuhan's wet markets. At present, the Philippines is under a state of calamity while the entire Luzon is under an enhanced community quarantine.
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