Why the coronavirus is killing more men than women

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By mid-October, the coronavirus had killed almost 17,000 more American men than women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 10 women claimed by the disease in the United States, 12 men have died, found an analysis by Global Health 50/50, a U.K.-based initiative to advance gender equality in health care.That disparity was one of many alarming aspects of the new virus. It bewildered those unfamiliar with the role of gender in disease.But the specialized group of researchers who study that relationship was not surprised. It prepared an array of hypotheses. One possible culprit was male behavior. Perhaps men were more likely to be exposed to the virus due to social factors; a disproportionately male workforce, for instance, could place more men in contact with infected people. Or men’s lungs might be more vulnerable because they were more likely to smoke in the earliest countries to report the differences.What has become more evident, 10 months into this outbreak, is that men show comparatively weaker immune responses to coronavirus infections, which may account for those added deaths.“If you look at the data across the world, there are as many men as women that …

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