Washington, DC (The Washington Post) — The coronavirus is killing far more men than women.
Upward of 70 percent of deaths in Italy have been in men, one of the largest gender divides seen yet during the pandemic.
The gender disparity in illness and death is harder to explain. Even before the covid-19 pandemic reached Italy, early reports out of China suggested men were especially at risk.
These statistics could be a product of behavior, biology or both, scientists say.
For one thing, demographic figures suggest many men have more health risks to begin with. In China, Italy and South Korea, women tend to live longer than men, according to the WHO.
Men also drink and smoke more in all of these countries, particularly in China, where 48 percent of men above 15 smoke, compared with just 2 percent of women, according to the WHO. Probably not coincidentally, men in these countries also tend to die more frequently from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases between ages 30 and 70.