Is novel coronavirus killing more men than women?

Is novel coronavirus killing more men than women?

More men are succumbing to the coronavirus outbreak in India than women.

According to the Health Ministry data, of the 1,075 COVID-19 deaths reported across the country, 65% were men, while the remaining 35% were women.

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Also, 78% of the 1,075 coronavirus patients who succumbed to the infection were also suffering from illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney transplant or cardiovascular disease.

As on Thursday, India reported 33,610 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a jump of 1,823 cases since Wednesday. The death toll also rose to 67 to touch 1,075. On the brighter side, the 8,372 persons have recovered from the disease since it was first reported in India on January 30.

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A look at the age distribution among the 1,075 COVID-19 deaths showed that 51.2% of the casualties were in the age group of 60 years and above, while 34.8% deaths were in the age group of 45-60. Those below 45 years of age accounted for 14% of the deaths.

A closer examination of the numbers showed that in the 60 years plus age group, 42% casualties were in the age group of 60-75 years, while 9.2% of the dead were in the age group of 75 years and above.

A study by researchers in China, the first country to report COVID-19 infections, also found that while men and women were equally likely to contract the infection, men were significantly more likely to suffer the severe effects and die.

The researchers found that the virus causing coronavirus attached itself to ACE2 protein found in cells it attacked, which was similar to the behaviour of the virus that led to the SARS outbreak of 2003.

“Interestingly, levels of ACE2, the protein involved in the viral attack in both SARS and COVID-19, tends to be present in higher levels in men, and also in patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” said the research carried out by doctors at the Beijing Tongren Hospital and published in open-access journal Frontiers in Public Health.

Health Minister Harshvardhan has written to the health ministers of all the States/UTs to ensure uninterrupted blood donation and transfusion services for people with blood disorders such as thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell anaemia.