Why women have an easier time with coronavirus
A study has found that women are less likely to have serious COVID symptoms and have a significantly lower mortality rate.
US scientists have suggested that women have a lower burden of coronavirus than men because of their sex hormones. The findings were published in the journal CellPress
The evidence suggests that men and the elderly have more severe symptoms and higher mortality after infection with SARS-CoV-2 than women.
In addition, men and women exposed to other viral infections also show differences in disease course and outcomes, with women being less susceptible overall due to a more effective immune response.
This suggested that female sex hormones help the body fight COVID-19.
Scientists carried out a study in which they infected mice with a mild form of the coronavirus. The male specimens had a mortality rate of 90% and only 20% in the female specimens. In the more severe form of coronavirus, all males died within five days while 50% of females survived.
Specialists have linked these facts to the protective role of oestrogen and progesterone, which have anti-inflammatory effects, stimulate antibody production and promote respiratory epithelial cell regeneration.
It is noted that further clinical trials should test whether these hormones benefit post-menopausal men and women who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.