Men who contract COVID-19 are more likely to be admitted to intensive care than women, according to a new study.
However, the researchers from University College London and the University of Cape Town say they have no evidence to suggest males are more likely to become infected than their female counterparts.
Their findings did find that men are nearly three times more likely to require hospital intervention though and had higher odds of death.
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The teams worked together to review 92 COVID-19 studies, which involved more than 3.1 million coronavirus cases from 46 countries.
The gender divide was approximately 1.57 million women and about 1.53 million were men.
The data found that more than 12,000 people were admitted to intensive care and of that 8,000 were men with the rest being female. Of the 200,000 people who died from COVID-19, about 120,000 were men and 91,000 were women.
Speaking to news agency AFP, co-author Dr Kate Webb from the Cape Town University, said: “These data may help doctors to recognize that sex is a risk factor for severe disease when managing patients.
“Sex is an under reported variable in many studies and this is a reminder that it is an important factor to consider in research.”
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The authors said their findings may play a key role in developing future vaccines for COVID-19 and other similar conditions.
Although researchers are not sure why gender appears to impact COVID health outcomes, the team did say it might have something to do with the “sex differences in both the innate and adaptive immune system” which have been reported before in other studes and may “account for the female advantage in COVID-19”.
The findings have been published in the Nature journal.