Regardless of Health Status, Men Do Worse With COVID-19

By Reuters Staff

July 01, 2021

(Reuters) - Men appear more likely than women to experience severe outcomes from COVID-19 regardless of whether the men have underlying health conditions, according to a new study.

Researchers in New York City who tracked roughly 5,000 patients of both sexes who were diagnosed in early 2020 found that men were sicker when first diagnosed and had a higher need for intensive care treatment and higher rates of death than women. This was true even though the men on average were younger and less likely than women to have risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure that previously have been linked with poor COVID-19 outcomes.

Among women, the likelihood of severe COVID-19 outcomes did seem to be related to their health status, the researchers said in a report published on Wednesday in the new Nature partner journal Communications Medicine.

A second analysis of another group of roughly 1,600 patients in New York City diagnosed later in the year showed similar patterns, the researchers said.

The authors noted that because their information on patients' pre-existing medical problems may have been incomplete, larger studies are needed to confirm their findings and to explain the causes.

SOURCE: Communications Medicine, online June 30, 2021.