Data collected from many of the countries most affected by COVID-19 show that men are at a significantly higher risk of having severe symptoms and dying when compared to women.
In data collected by Global Health 50/50, many countries with some of the most cases of COVID-19 are reporting a majority of men dying to the disease. Italy, for example, has so far had 71 percent of all case deaths attributed to men, with only 29 percent being women. Spain, another major global hotspot, has seen 65 percent of all deaths attributed to men, with only 35 percent being women.
Medical experts have long known men can be more susceptible to viruses than women. Women generally tend to have stronger immune responses to viruses, though the reason for that is still up for debate. Genetic and hormonal differences may play a role, while environmental factors could also contribute to a stronger immune system. Still, while women tend to have stronger immune systems, over 80 percent of all autoimmune diseases are attributed to women. These occur when an immune response is so strong, it targets and deteriorates organs in the body.