We know that COVID-19 affects men and women differently. Many studies and reports from around the world found that men often have more severe COVID-19 than women. For example, one large study from Italy found that 82% of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care were men. Another study from China reported that the death rate for men with COVID-19 was 2.8% compared to 1.7% for women. Overall, many studies have shown that being male is a risk factor in and of itself for more severe COVID-19 illness and complications.
New York Study Results
This study also shows that men are more likely than women to have severe symptoms and complications from COVID-19. Researchers in New York City tracked about 5,000 patients (both male and female) diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020. Overall, they found that men were sicker, had higher rates of death, and were more likely to require intensive care hospital treatment compared to women. The rate of death for men in the New York hospital was 25.2% versus 23.1% for women.
Interestingly, men in this study tended to be younger and less likely than women to have risk factors linked to COVID-19. These risk factors include obesity and high blood pressure. For women, their chances of severe symptoms and complications from COVID-19 seem to be related to their overall health. For example, women with obesity were more likely to have serious health complications if infected with COVID-19. This is not the case for men. In fact, being male is a risk factor for death from COVID-19.
Regardless of underlying health conditions, men still are more likely than women to be seriously affected by COVID-19.