(HealthDay News) — The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate in New York City is 2 times higher among men than among women, and men also have higher rates of infection and hospitalization, new data show.
There have been 43 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 men compared with 23 per 100,000 women, according to city health department figures, The New York Times reported. The case rates are 932 per 100,000 among men and 712 per 100,000 among women, and hospitalization rates are 228.7 per 100,000 among men and 140.3 per 100,000 among women. Similar gender differences have been seen in China and Italy.
“I’m in the emergency room, and it’s remarkable — I’d estimate that 80% of the patients being brought in are men,” Hani Sbitany, MD, a reconstructive surgeon at Mount Sinai Health Systems who has been treating COVID-19 patients in Brooklyn, told The Times. “It’s 4 out of 5 patients.”
Experts say there are a number of possible explanations for the male/female disparity, including differences in behavior. For example, in much of the world, men have higher smoking rates than women. Biological differences may be another factor. Some scientists have noted that women have stronger immune systems that give them an advantage in combating infections, The Times reported.