In countries like Italy, men account for about 60% of people who have been infected with the virus and more than 70% of those who have died, according to the country’s National Institute of Health. Even in countries like South Korea, where the proportion of women who have been infected with HIV is higher than that of men, there are about 54% of deaths reported among men.
But while health officials have begun to study these surprising numbers, the United States is not publishing nationwide baseline data that is crucial to understanding who is most vulnerable to the virus, according to CNN analysis.
“From Italy we are witnessing a worrying trend. It appears that the male mortality rate is twice in each age group compared to females,” Dr. Deborah Birks, coordinator of the Corona Virus Working Group at the White House, told a news conference on Friday.
Regarding this data about Italy, Pyrex said in an interview with CNN: “Just knowing that helps us in the United States so we can determine about who should be protected and how to protect him when talking to the American people.
When CNN asked the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for sex-disaggregated data for coronavirus cases in the United States and deaths due to the virus, known as sex-disaggregated data, the CDC did not respond.
Comprehensive data on those who are ill can help to report more effective responses to the crisis. But public health researchers say that when governments like the United States do not collect or not publish data, it is impossible for experts to gain any accurate understanding of what is happening.
The data is broken down by gender
In cooperation with Global Health 50/50, a research institute that examines gender inequality in global health, CNN analyzed publicly available data from 20 countries, with the largest number of confirmed cases of “Covid-19” during the data collection period – March 20 .
The aim was to know: Why do more deaths occur among men compared to women?
Of these twenty countries, only 6 countries provided data disaggregated by sex for both confirmed cases and deaths, namely: China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Seven other countries provided this data for the number of confirmed cases only. No sex-disaggregated data could be found for the remaining countries. The research was submitted for publication and has not yet been revised.
The data is not exhaustive in all cases: for example, the figures in China only cover the period until the end of February. There is no reliable data on the percentage of tests for men versus women in any country. Moreover, there are undoubtedly cases of HIV infection that did not appear in the national data.
But in all the countries we have data for – which extends to about a quarter of the world’s population, we have found that 50% more women are men dying after being diagnosed with the emerging coronavirus.
While the results are necessarily partial and incomplete, the results shed light on what public health experts were warning about, and they justify that it is not only a matter of biology but also of gender-based behaviors i.e. different ways in which men and women exercise their lives, which may lead A role in the different mortality rate for respiratory diseases.
Coronary viruses such as SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) tend to affect men disproportionately, according to Dr. Louis Ostroski-Zichener, an infectious disease specialist at McGovern College of Medicine at UTHealth University in Texas.
During previous epidemics, clinical male results were reported to be worse due to SARS in Hong Kong. They also had a higher risk of death from respiratory syndrome in the Middle East, in a study conducted in Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
From an evolutionary perspective, some research suggests that women have a stronger immune response against viral infection than men because they spend part of their lives with a foreign body inside, i.e. offspring, which gives them the advantage of survival.
Initial reports of people suffering from acute illness from the emerging coronavirus show that they are likely to have underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease, according to Global Health 50/50.
The institute pointed out that these cases tend to be more common among men in the six countries analyzed as well as globally, perhaps because of the more serious lifestyle choices.
“If the emerging Corona virus follows the same type of patterns that we see across a host of other diseases, then what we do know is that men tend to have a greater risk throughout their lives of being exposed to behaviors that,” said Sarah Hawks, Professor of Global Public Health at University College London. It will lead to harmful health outcomes in the long term. ”
“So in most countries, for example, what we see is that men smoke tobacco and drink alcohol at much higher rates than women.”
Smoking is a clear example of how this behavior differs between men and women.
China has the largest number of smokers in the world, or about 316 million adult smokers. But while more than 50% of Chinese men smoke, less than 3% of women smoke, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Italy, 7 million men smoke compared to 4.5 million women, according to the 2020 data released by the National Health Institute.
Other studies have shown that Italian men also have higher rates of high blood pressure compared to females of the same age, while men in China tend to have high blood pressure and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers say that all of these factors contribute to the possible complications if they contract the emerging coronavirus.
Global Health 50/50 researchers explain that the lack of data on the number of men who died due to the new Coronavirus, unlike women, appears to be a lost opportunity for governments to implement public health policies targeting specific groups of people who are more at risk than the rest of the population.