Are more women dying of coronavirus than men in India?

Hyderabad: More men are dying from Covid-19 than women around the world. But running counter to what has been observed elsewhere in the world, the findings of a research by a group of scientists in India and US concluded the although men make up the majority of infections, women face a higher risk of dying from the coronavirus than men in India.

According to Sabra Klein, a scientist who studies sex differences in viral infections at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “being male is as much a risk factor for the coronavirus as being old”. Where as the research in India shows early estimates that 3.3% of all women contracting the infection in India were dying compared to 2.9% of all men.

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However, experts have raised eyebrows over the findings of the said study.

Kunihiro Matsushita, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that studies he had participated in had shown that male patients have a higher risk of contracting severe Covid-19 infection, because they smoke more than women in many countries, they wash their hands less frequently than women and also because women have sturdier immune defences because of hormones like oestrogen.

Keeping all these factors in mind, Prof Matsushita finds a higher case fatality rate in women than men in this report as certainly unique.

He stressed the need to scrutinize the research data in the context of how Covid-19 is diagnosed in India especially noting the fact that women outlive men in India and there are more older women than men.

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