More men than women infected with COVID-19 in B.C. and globally - InfoNews

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More men than women infected with COVID-19 in B.C. and globally

FILE PHOTO - People line up to buy face masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus outside Nonghyup Hanaro Mart in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
April 23, 2020 - 4:44 PM

International statistics show a higher proportion of men are being hospitalized due to the effects of COVID-19 than women.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that to be true in B.C. as well during her daily COVID-19 update today, April 23.

“The whole question of why men are more likely to have more serious illness than women is one that is being asked around the world,” she said. “Some people’s theories are that our immune systems are different, men and women, and that women’s immune systems adapt to being able to have children and have pregnancies without their immune systems fighting them off."

“Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have more of the proteins, the cytokines, that can cause our immune systems to get excited and attack viruses that invade our systems. But that’s speculation. We don’t know for sure.”

While only about 47 per cent of B.C. residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are men, about two-thirds of hospital admissions are men, and 65 to 75 per cent of those in intensive care are men, Henry said.

But the immune system is only one possible explanation. Since people with underlying health conditions – such as diabetes and heart conditions – are more likely to need hospitalization with COVID-19, it could be there is a higher proportion of men who have such conditions, she speculated, or there could be genetic factors.

“It’s one of those really interesting things that has borne out in countries around the world that we don’t have answers to yet,” Henry said.

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