When it comes to the severity of COVID-19, women appear to have an advantage over men.
A study published in the journal Nature Communications looked at over 3 million COVID-19 cases from January to June across the globe and found men have "almost three times the odds" of ending up in intensive care compared to women. Also, the study also found that men were nearly 1.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than women.
Researchers explain that variations in the male and female immune systems could be the reason why, noting, "Men and women have differences in almost all arms of the immune system. These range from the early immune responses to viral infection, to T cell responses, B cell responses, and immune memory."
The study's author, Dr. Kate Webb, a consultant pediatric rheumatologist, goes on to point out, "There are many potential reasons for these differences in immunity: hormones have immunological effects and women have two X chromosomes compared to one in men. X chromosomes are packed full of genes which code for immunity."
The study also points to the possibility of higher incidents of more men interacting with people outside of their household than women and men being more likely to have certain pre-existing health issues and comorbidities that could lead to more severe COVID cases.
It should be noted the risk of a COVID-19 infection is the same for both men and women.