A study published today in the journal Nature Communications looked at a large sample of COVID-19 patients and found that, while men and women catch the virus at the same rate, the infection is much more likely to be severe for men. Not only were men nearly three times as likely to wind up in the ICU, they 1.4 times more likely to die.
The researchers analyzed data from 90 reports involving 46 countries and 44 US states. This data showed that, among the cases in the study, about 1.57 million were women and about 1.53 million were men.
Yet when it came to data on over 12,000 admissions to hospital intensive care units, about 8,000 of those were men and 4,000 were women, the researchers found.
And among the over 200,000 Covid-19 deaths included in the study, about 120,000 were men and 91,000 were women.
Because the sample contained roughly equal numbers of men and women, researchers say this is not a case of men being more likely to contract the disease because of social behavior or poor hygiene. A chart contained in the study also shows men were more likely to need intensive care (labeled ITU for intensive therapy unit) in every country for which they had data. As you can see there’s a range but the average works out to 2.84 times the risk for men as for women.